The James B. Hunt Jr. Library will be a beautiful and inspiring “signature” building that embodies the essence of Centennial Campus as a community built around knowledge.
Groundbreaking for the new James B Hunt Jr. Library will take place this Friday, October 23rd. This building has been a long time coming, and the images that have been released of the new design do not disappoint.
Designed by the 2009 Mies van der Rohe Award winning firm, Snøhetta in conjunction with Raleigh's own PBC+L, the new building boasts the latest technology in archival print collection storage. The Automated Retrieval System will hold some two million volumes, and can store all this in one-ninth the space of equivalent traditional book stacks.
The Vision Statement released by the University gives an arm's length list of aspirations for the new building. Four key goals, from the library's website:
It's clear that this new building is a marked departure from the Office Park-itecture of much of Centennial Campus, and a very welcome departure at that. The structure will frame impressive views of Lake Raleigh on one side, and the Raleigh skyline on the other.
The improvement in study seating is long overdue, and is probably the most important aspect of the new building, at least to the Students of NC State. What remains to be seen, however, is whether this new building will successfully draw students from Main Campus over to centennial to utilize its resources. The majority of material in the library will be focused on Textiles and Engineering, but Larry Nielsen, co-chair of the building committee, wants to drive home the point that this building is "Not just a campus for engineers. It's a campus for the entire University."
Recent discussions on the possibility of Centennial Campus housing could be a big step in engaging more of the student body, and the new library certainly sets a high bar for the design of future buildings on centennial campus.
The James B. Hunt Jr. Library has been in the works since July 2007. This new centerpiece for centennial campus should be completed by the summer of 2012. Schematic design began in fall of last year, with an end-user charette taking place in January . We're looking forward knowing more about the building in the coming months... but one thing is for certain.
It's no Dust Buster.