Architecture firm Snøhetta has looked beyond books in its design for Temple University’s new library in Philadelphia, conceiving a building that puts group study and social hangout spots at the forefront.
‘The design is inspired by the historic academies of Greek antiquity, where social spaces for exchanging ideas were primary and storage of written content took a secondary role,’ says the firm.
Temple’s new 225,000 sq ft library, at the heart of its campus, will still house a collection of more than two million texts. But thanks to an automated retrieval system, less space is needed to store and display the books.
The move also frees up room for other facilities inside the stone building, including IT rooms, student resource centres and an event hall.
A domed lobby will welcome the university’s 38,000 students via a wooden arch and provide views into all corners of the building. On the perimeter of the structure will be outdoor classrooms and gathering spots for the warmer months.
Construction is set to start soon and the new library is expected to be ready in autumn 2018.