Medgar Evers College Library | The City University of New York -- Brooklyn, New York

45,000 SF library renovation | 2,000 SF welcome center addition | information commons | media services | archives | information literacy classrooms | group study rooms | tutoring | reading and collections
The Medgar Evers College Library is a 45,000-square-foot renovation of an obsolete late-1970s library into a modern learning commons. The concept for the renovation is inspired by the brilliant and reflective pages of illuminated manuscripts and their modern counterpart, the computer screen. Treating each interior surface as a bright reflective page, the renovation of this academic library transforms the former dark and shadowed space into a bright and airy learning environment that takes advantage of an existing two-story glass wall and space frame to admit light deep within the building. Natural light enters the three-story space from north-facing windows and an overhead skylight that illuminates the space frame, interior surfaces, sculptural stair, group study rooms, and offices. A new three-story opening along the north facade and new sculptural staircase physically and visually link all three levels. The opening increases the legibility of the space and hence the building’s clarity by allowing the visitor to see the various program functions of the library from the entry. The result is a light-filled and inspiring information commons with adjacent study and classroom spaces. A new addition, located adjacent to the library, adds a glassy 2,000-square-foot welcome center that gives the library a civic presence along Bedford Avenue.