Monday, 3 October 2016
New building defines the academic library of the future, receives first place award from Library Journal
BOSTON – September 29, 2016 - Shepley Bulfinch, a national architecture firm known for design excellence and innovation with offices in Boston, Houston and Phoenix, today announced the completion of the James Branch Cabell Library at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), a public research university in Richmond, Virginia. VCU’s newly expanded and renovated Cabell Library includes 156,000 sf of new construction and improvements to existing library space in the Monroe Park Campus library, providing VCU’s 31,000 ...[more]
Wednesday, 21 September 2016
The Virginia Commonwealth University Cabell Library project exemplifies the potential to transform an introverted mid-century building into a state-of-the-art facility that enlivens an entire campus.
The existing building lacked critical spaces for individual and group study, collaboration, and social interaction. In response, the addition and renovation nearly double seating capacity and introduce a range of multi-functional, flexible spaces that will allow the ...[more]
Monday, 29 August 2016
Digital technologies, changing scholarship habits, spatial constraints, and economic challenges are prompting many institutions to dramatically change how their physical collections (e.g., books, maps, art, biological samples, pottery fragments) are stored, accessed, displayed, and consumed. With the digital revolution, what physical things still are important pedagogically for an academic institution? That is what I explored with Janette Blackburn, principal at Shepley Bulfinch; Paul Guenther, Senior Campus Planner for McGill University, and Anna Gold, Dean of Library Services at Cal Poly, at our SCUP-51 conference presentation in Vancouver.
Leaders of higher education face decisions about ...[more]
Thursday, 7 April 2016
While the library’s importance to higher education has remained constant, its physical shape has changed dramatically over the course of the last century.
19th century academic libraries reflected the pedagogy and culture of the period: formal buildings with grand spaces and quiet, well-appointed reading rooms. By the middle of the 20th century these buildings faced a new challenge. Unable to respond to cultural shifts, rapid enrollment and collections growth, many of them were abandoned to other programs or demolished, making room for the new “library of the future.” These 20th century “state of ...[more]
Tuesday, 29 March 2016
Earlier this month, members of Shepley Bulfinch’s project team were in Richmond for the dedication of the new Cabell Library expansion at Virginia Commonwealth University.
As an intervention in a complex urban context, Cabell Library truly accomplishes the design goals we had intended for it: the way the building massing comfortably nestles into its context, how it responds to change of scale in the urban fabric, the way that building edges and interior space truly engage and activate public campus space, with human activity and interior destinations made legible ...[more]
Monday, 21 March 2016
One of an occasional series
Planning the transformation of an academic library is likely to involve an expanded mix of users. This may include new partners and will call for a dynamic, inclusive process.
Some helpful strategies include
Map the journey
Think of your process as a travel guide for your journey and the destination is the completion of your library project. Plan for unexpected stops and side trips along the way, but keep the final destination in sight.
Make it open and collaborative
Use the process to harness different perspectives, create a campus-wide buzz, and build ...[more]
Thursday, 29 October 2015
Duke University’s Rubenstein Library, which was dedicated in October following a two-year restoration and renovation, has received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification from the US Green Building Council. It is the third Duke library project to be LEED Certified and the University’s seventh LEED Gold Certified building. The project’s most visible sustainable strategy was preserving the library building – one of the oldest academic structures on Duke’s West Campus – and elements of its 1948 and 1968 additions.
Preserving the building while preparing a new home for ...[more]