Learning Resource Center | Suffolk County Community College -- Brentwood, New York

70,000 SF | information commons | reference information and tech help desks | auditorium | reference and general collections | media center | academic tutoring center | writing center | computer lab | faculty athenaeum | board room
The Learning Resource Center at Suffolk County Community College is a lantern of learning. A simple mass of nine cubes arranged in a three-by-three grid accommodates the library program on two floors. Portions of the cubes are either removed or expanded to create an interplay between negative and positive space that allows the Learning Resource Center to act as a prism that casts sunlight deep into the building throughout the day. The building takes its place at the center of the Suffolk County Community College campus, at the confluence of major pedestrian pathways between the Caumsett Student Center and the Health / Sports / Education Center, and between the major student parking lots for this commuter college. A glassy cupola rises above the building to create an iconic expression, a beacon visible from all corners of the campus. The Learning Resource Center presents opportunities for team-based, experiential, and problem-based learning by providing a variety of learning environments: group study rooms, seminar rooms, flat-floor computer classrooms, open tutoring classrooms, and a 100-seat lecture hall. At the heart of the building—beneath the lantern—lies the Information Commons, which accommodates computer workstations, technology and reference help desks, and casual reading areas. The Center for Academic Excellence is on axis with the Information Commons and flanked by the College’s Writing Center. Library stacks lined with carrels for individual study, faculty seminar room and offices, and a landscaped roof garden for reading occupy the second floor, as does the College’s Boardroom, also used by Suffolk County for municipal meetings. A ventilated terra cotta rain screen façade, green roof, and photo-optic lighting controls are sustainable design strategies that contribute to the building’s LEED Silver certification. The project was realized in collaboration with Architect-of-Record Wiedersum Associates Architects.