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Austin breaks ground on new Central Library

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Groundbreaking - Austin Central Library
The City of Austin, Texas, broke ground today on its new Central Library, establishing a major civic presence and community gathering space in the heart of the city’s redeveloped Seaholm district. The library, which is scheduled for completion in 2016, is designed by the architectural joint venture of Lake|Flato and Shepley Bulfinch.

The building is defined by a light-filled, six-story atrium space wrapped by collections and event space. Distinctive elements include a series of reading porches that overlook Shoal Creek and Lady Bird Lake, a quiet reading room, ...[more]

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]

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]

Behind the Wall: Bob Simmons

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Principal Bob Simmons, AIA, says higher education is akin to urban planning, which makes it a nice work space to inhabit. “The client is the steward of the whole village, and is sensitive to how each building affects not only its village, but the world.”

This interest in a holistic approach to uncover the essence of design is something Bob gravitated toward early on, and continues to bring to the forefront in his work today. Having recently joined Shepley Bulfinch, he is focused on expanding projects within his niche – student life and dining – to produce a more comprehensive portfolio in the higher education sector.

To further welcome and introduce Bob, ...[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]

Using graphics and storytelling to explain abstract concepts

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Brigham Bldg for FutureOne of an occasional series

Designers can easily read architectural drawings and imagine the spaces they represent, but for others who don’t spend their days looking at plans, it can be difficult to translate from two-dimensional lines to 3-D space.

Because the spatial and experiential implications of drawings may not be apparent to clients, their donors, and community members, storytelling plays an important role in explaining the impact of a design by conveying a sense of the experience. By using narrative storytelling, graphic rendering, and photography ...[more]