In the center of a 30-acre site for a major campus extension, the Library is a bi-axial symmetrical volume recalling neo-Palladian models. The enclosure of the building, the four emblematic facades of brick arches surrounded by porticos with slender branched columns under roof overhangs and eroded corners, is deliberately fragmented and deconstructed.
The spaces of the library are arranged around the square of the sky-lit interior court and a central rotunda with circular reading rooms, the upper under a lantern. Double height readers’ galleries surround the court and extend to the periphery overlooking the campus on four sides. A monumental staircase ascends along one side of the rotunda and connects the lobby to the ‘piano nobile’ level with entry to the user services area. At the ground floor there are a reception, a lecture hall and cafeteria, with audio-visual and computer services at a lower level.
The library houses social sciences, humanities and life science collections, 1.2 million volumes, public seating for 4,000 and a state-of-the-art electronic infra-structure.
Educational Spaces Vol. 3, 2003 Building Design & Construction, December 1998