The Ekstrom Academic Library was completed in the early 1980’s in the Brutalist Style of exposed, rough hammered concrete, dark brick, and painted steel trim. The university sought to create a contemporary, student-focused space offering various individual and collaborative options for students to utilize. Three previously scattered information desks were consolidated into a new service point sitting in the two story atrium.
New furniture, lighting, and finishes provide user cues to differentiate quiet, individual work space from active, group study zones. The original building cut off access to most of the exterior glass facing the campus quad, so JRA carefully removed these obstructions to give every student space a clear connection to the exterior. New student service department suites were added to further define the various study zones and make wayfinding extremely intuitive.
Colin Drake, AIA, LEED AP
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