Washington University - Olin Library Level 1 - Saint Louis, MO

The fast-paced evolution of information technology has caused library design to be radically reconsidered. Despite a major renovation to the campusís main library within the past ten years, Olinís first level isnít optimized to meet todayís programming standards. A decreased reliance on paper-based periodical and reference materials left vast expanses of either partially-filled or empty stacks; space that ideally could accommodate seating groups or serve as collaborative work areas.

With ever-increasing reliance on digital access of information and with more students possessing portable personal computers, the libraryís circulation, reference, periodical, computing and study areas Ė all programmatically adjacent Ė become more of a wireless hotspot providing access to collections, services, and printing. As such, students require a range of micro-environments facilitating activities from quick-access computing between classes to small group work at acoustically-separated collaborative workstations to the more traditional quiet, solitary reading.

Working closely with a library staff committee, we generated several schemes exploring planning concept strengths and weaknesses in an effort to hit upon the exact arrangement that meets or exceeds user demands and offers future flexibility.

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