Savannah College of Art and Design, Jen Library

Savannah, Georgia

The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) prepares talented students for careers in the visual and performing arts, design, building arts, and the history of art and architecture. The college emphasizes individual attention in a positively oriented environment.

The challenge of designing a college library for use by art and design students was creating a space ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$82.35FEATURED IN2001 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYLibraries/Media Centers not only was functional as a library and as technologically advanced as possible, but also would inspire the creative minds of the art and design students. The finishes in the building were replaced and updated to give the appearance of timeless elegance, with inspiration from the cruise ships of the 1940s. The aesthetics were created with clean and modern lines.

This project transformed the building into an 85,000-square-foot art and architecture library, one of the largest in the nation. The new facility, renamed the Jen Library, now houses a video wall and about 3,000 computer connections, as well as 42,000 books, 11,000 bound volumes of periodicals, 20 private study areas, Internet/electronic study areas and more than 1,600 videotapes. It is entirely in compliance with ADA standards. The library serves students, faculty and staff, as well as the general public.

Materials came from all over the world, including limestone from Jerusalem, glass tile from Canada, light fixtures from Germany and rare black-walnut doors from Austria. The laminated glass staircase that replaced the original escalator was made by Eckelt, a German company.

The fabric on the end of each set of bookshelves is titled Esperanto and was created by Luna Textiles. The alphabet and pattern in the fabric is representative of the universal language Esperanto. The walnut columns were engineered so that as more network connections are needed, the wood fascia can be removed, and additional network and power cables can be pulled through the column.

The renovated bathrooms are especially notable. Glass counters, glass-tile walls, new plumbing fixtures, stainless-steel partitions and limestone floors provide an elegant atmosphere not usually found in a library setting.

Artwork belonging to the permanent collection of the college is predominant throughout the space.