Project DescriptionIn order to re-establish its campus prominence and accommodate student growth, EwingCole led the transformation of this Library, originally constructed in 1968, into a 21st Century Learning Center offering new technologies and incorporating current trends in library design and function.
The new program places less emphasis on warehousing the College’s print collection and more on technology innovation, study options and accessibility of information. The 43,000 square foot original library was completely reconfigured, with an addition of 32,000 square feet. Immediately adjacent to the College’s entrance drive, the iconic glass façade of the new addition symbolizes modern technology and represents the updated image of the Library / Learning Center, seen first by people visiting the campus.
Primary programs and reading areas are located in the addition, and surround the Technology Learning Center, a dramatic two-story, 21st Century equivalent of the 19th Century grand reading rooms of traditional libraries. The TLC, as it is called, is surrounded by full-height glass imbedded with a ceramic pattern to control sunlight and reduce glare on the individual and collaborative computer work stations contained within it. This space has become both symbolically and functionally the heart of the transformed library.
While the west elevation of the addition is dominated by glass, the east elevation is almost exclusively brick masonry matching the original Library, punctuated by a large glass bay window daylighting a unique “found” reading space within the stacks.
Construction of the addition provided the opportunity to reconfigure the surrounding site, reasserting the Library as the focus of the academic quad, and establishing its pivotal role in student life on campus. The east side of the Library was regraded and paved to allow full pedestrian accessibility to the elevated quadrangle – a major student “hangout”. The west site redesign, in addition to providing a gracious entry to the Library, allowed for the creation of an enlivened outdoor gathering space between the Library and the adjacent Performing Arts Center. Seating walls are integrated throughout the site, and a small but essential “rain garden”, coupled with the Library’s new vegetated roof, controls stormwater run-off.
The new Library features:
• 134-seat Technology Learning Center
• 224 computers overall for student and public use • 20 enclosed rooms equipped with technology for group study
• Larger enclosed silent and quiet areas
• Expanded reference area
• Two new computer labs for information literacy training
• 900-sf student study area with comfortable seating, vending area and fireplace
• Seating for 800 in study carrels, study tables, easy chairs, rocking chairs, tables set up for small collaborative work and laptop bars with stools.
“We have received nothing but continued accolades and praise for the building’s design and functionality from the college’s faculty, staff and students,” said James Taylor, AACC’s Director of Facilities Planning and Construction. “We firmly believe the Library Renovation & Expansion project to be one of our most successful building projects, and EwingCole played a major role in helping the College in this success.”