Tuesday, April 20, 2010


The school has a rich history, which can be seen throughout campus with its well preserved buildings, and abundance of land. The school’s enrollment has been steadily increasing over the years, which results in the need to make improvements to the current library. The colleges’ goal is to create a warm and inviting environment that encourages collaboration and learning. The library design is not focused on the books themselves but the people that read them. Inspired by Nature, the design of the library will be influenced by the arts and crafts approach to architecture and furniture design which is heavily inspired by nature, wood, and clean lines. A warm and inviting environment will be created that encourages collaboration, community, and learning. In keeping with the historical appeal of the college campus, the design will explore the re-use of furniture and fixtures that already exists on the campus. You can see the arts and crafts influence specifically in the color choices, application of wood, textiles patterns and the facade of the circulation counter. Arts and Crafts style furniture and architecture are widely used in the space because this style offers the space a warm, welcoming feel for the user. It also adds interest and consistency creating a cohesive design. The facade of the circulation counter is this acrylic/vine surface. The furniture and accessories for the space are mission style. They are functional and well crafted pieces that will last many years. Also, having this style of furniture is complementary to many items found on the Campus. Therefore, the library can be a new home for some of the furniture and study tables that already exist on campus. Many of the pieces used have a strong residential feeling to them. Thus, the user feels very comfortable, relating the pieces to home and allowing them to relax in the space. The library is a space where students and staff can sit and study for hours in a space that is as comfortable as home. The wood in the space adds warmth and architectural interest. The color scheme also adds depth and warmth. Architectural interest is created in the library through the use of glass and wood as well as creating different ceiling heights throughout. As you enter the library you see the circulation counter. Above is a cove, soffit, and wooden beam spokes within. These elements not only add interest and draw the eye upward but also give the circulation counter presence. Past the circulation counter are study tables covered by a wooden pergola-like structure. Adjacent is the archive office. Because the archives themselves need to be housed in a specific environment different from the rest of the library, the office space is a glass box framed by wooden beams. This allows this interior office daylight as well as architectural attention. In the center of the space you can see the majority of the support pillars for the library. All of the support pillars are covered in a grooved wooden panel. This adds warmth to the concrete supports. At the east side of the open center are the group study rooms. The fronts of the rooms are glass but the sliding barn doors are mission inspired wooden panels. The layering of these two materials adds interest to the spaces as well as offering the study rooms daylight as well as some privacy. The café is located at the northeast corner of the library. I chose not to divide the café with any permeate walls in order to encourage the sense of community in the library. However the space is defined by a few key elements: white mosaic tiles contrast with the carpet used in the rest of the library., the orientation of the café bar is so that it might separate itself from the computer stations, the specific placement of the fireplace divides the café from the stacks and study tables, wooden beams are once again used on the back bar and above, lowering the ceiling height. The interior back hallway is made bright because the office fronts are once again glass, allowing daylight to pass through to the interior of the library. Interest is added to this area of the library by making the offices a lower ceiling height and capping them off below the overall library height. These boxes add interest to the offices. Inside these offices interest and warmth are added through the wood panel ceiling applied. The element of wood in the spaces affects the human factor. Wood is a natural material that makes people feel warm and more like they’re at home. It’s not cold like many materials such as the concrete that was the finish on the support pillars. The space planning for the library is designed to be a functional, encouraging collaboration and community. Study tables are specifically located near archives so that students or Arches can have a place to easily look over material that cannot be removed from the library. Study tables are also located near the windows by the stacks and the ARC. With the tables located here, the student has easy access to books as well as the tutoring center. The computers are located between the entrance and the café. They are near windows so that the student has day lighting but they are oriented in a way that there is no glare on the screens. This decision helps the human factor for the student using the computers. Group study rooms are located off of the central sitting area where as the individual study rooms are located further back in the library, offering the student a more quiet and less distracting environment. Although the open concept allows students and staff to see much of the library at one time there are still many functional spaces that allow the student to be productive. Suspended lights are used as general lighting throughout the library. Also used are recessed cans. Day lighting plays an important part in the lighting of the library considering there are large windows around the entire perimeter of the space. Day lighting improves the human factor by improving the mood and productivity of the user. Mission style lamps are used in private offices. Glass pendants are used in the café over the bar.

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