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Shepley Bulfinch Completes New Cabell Library at Virginia Commonwealth University

Monday, 3 October 2016

Virginia Commonwealth University New Landmark Library VCU Cabell Library Library Journal

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]

New Landmark Library Award Winner Transforming Campus and Student Experience

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

VCU Cabell Library Brutalist Design renovation transparency

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]

Planning for Collections: Balancing Digital Trends, Physical Realities, and Pedagogy

Monday, 29 August 2016

IMG_6755

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]

Mid-Century libraries: obsolescence or opportunity?

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Angela Watson, AIAWhile 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]

VCU Cabell Library and urban transformation

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Cabell Library - cathedral viewEarlier 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]

Library design: Six elements of a successful process

Monday, 21 March 2016

One of an occasional series

Janette BlackburnPlanning 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]

Duke University’s Rubenstein Library awarded LEED Gold Certification

Thursday, 29 October 2015

LEED 2015 GOLD medallion 150x150Duke 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]

Integrating the arts successfully into your library

29 June 2015

American Library Assn (ALA) 2015 annual conference, San Francisco CA

Kelly Brubaker, Shepley Bulfinch
Margaret Sullivan, Margaret Sullivan Studio