RALEIGH – North Carolina State University’s new library incorporates sharp design and state-of-the-art library technology. New York and Oslo-based studio Snøhetta based the design on the premise that both the common pre-existing and the emerging needs of the University had to be addressed and balanced in order to ‘create a forward thinking learning environment’.
James B. Hunt Jr. Library is decidedly marked by an equilibrium between social environments and focused study areas as well as disruptive learning spaces – characterized by colourful and dynamic furniture – and the more traditional study rooms. Moreover, the architects recognized the changing concept of library and so implemented into the design a bookBot automated retrieval system with a capacity for over two million volumes in 1/9 the space of conventional shelving. Leaving this way ‘more space for collaborative learning environments and technology.’
The building’s contemporary architecture establishes a good relationship with the surrounding traditional NCSU’s campus. ‘Its façade of fritted glass and a fixed external aluminium shading system help diminish heat gain while maximizing views and ambient natural light,’ the architects explain.
The Library also houses the Institute for Emerging Issues, a political think tank led by former North Carolina Governor James Hunt, academic offices, an auditorium and a myriad of technology labs, from the Game Lab, to a Creative Studio, a 3D printing workshop, and digital media production facilities.
Images courtesy of Mark Herboth