An increasingly important part of the library’s mission is to engage with the surrounding North Philadelphia neighborhood, an area underserved by the city’s public library system. Storing the bulk of the university’s book collection in a robotic storage and retrieval system enabled the design team to establish an array of flexible reading and research spaces. Copyright , Temple University. “I don’t have to defend the library very much anymore,” he says, leaning against bookshelves on the ground floor. Many of these diverse, flexible areas were made possible by housing the vast majority of the library’s collection within a warehouse-like automated storage and retrieval system, in which a robotic crane fetches media stored in a dizzying network of metal bins. Learn more about Temple University Libraries. Here, a sweeping cedar-lined overhang juts out over a plaza like the prow of a ship. Room bookings are limited to one 2 … 1801 N. Broad StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19122 USA. Adds Snøhetta’s Chad Carpenter, the building’s project manager: “So much of the goal of the project is not about the flow of people through the building, but for people to pause on their way.”, “Temple’s profile as an institution is rising nationally, and this building is a physical manifestation of that,” says the university’s dean of libraries, Joe Lucia. “But I think it’s really exciting to hear the students talk about how we built this library for them.”, Snøhetta’s library provides both a set piece and gateway to Temple’s campus. It provides basic contact info and access to select databases. Fifty-three years later, in spite of technological shifts that would eventually render the once state-of-the-art building obsolete, Paley’s mandate is still at the heart of Temple’s library system—only now embodied in an expressive new facility by AD100 architectural firm Snøhetta. Sited on the western edge of what will eventually become a verdant quadrangle, the library is a largely rectilinear volume clad in a grooved, charcoal-colored granite—a nod to the campus’s historic stone building, according to the architects. subscribe.
The Charles library is without a doubt ambitious both architecturally and technologically, boasting a soaring cedar-clad atrium and whizbang features like a robotic book retrieval system for a collection of 1.5 million volumes. Though many of its books are stored in a new automated system, the Charles Library maintains a collection of 200,000 in bright green shelves on its light-filled fourth floor.

Over the years, the firm has designed many libraries both large and small, from Calgary’s central library in Canada to a campus library at North Carolina State University to a small community library in Far Rockaway, Queens. At a time when the public sector has been so eroded, it’s even more important that we stand by those values.”. Students rarely take the elevator, Carpenter points out. Temple University's new Charles Library, designed by Snøhetta and viewed here facing its primary eastern entrance, is a dramatic new campus fixture. Please make your reservation online. These gardens are not only critical for stormwater management, “but they’re also really visual,” he says. As with any building, Carpenter notes, “one of the real challenges is getting people all the way to the top.” So the design team located the majority of the library’s “traditional” features on the fourth floor, including stacks, a reading room, and a dedicated graduate study center. Temple University Libraries bring together collections, people and services to facilitate teaching, learning and research success. He shrugs, “Yeah, we have books, but there are so many other things that we’ve been doing for a long time. This site is always up.
The Brutalist edifice symbolized the start of an important chapter for Temple, one marked by both physical and intellectual expansion.

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The building beckons from the quadrangle with a dramatic glazed archway sheltered by a tapered cantilever, its underbelly lined with cedar. So, in addition to typical amenities like a circulation desk, a special collections facility and exhibition space, and a reading room, the domed roof sweeps over a public café, a community events space, and desktop computers available to anyone with a library card. "We must recognize the full dimensions of the library today and work courageously toward finding the solutions,” he told an audience neatly assembled alongside the card catalogue. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. The $175 million complex, called the Charles Library, represents not only the biggest investment in a single building in Temple’s history, but also the opening move in a broader strategic plan for the university's main campus. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 1/1/20) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated 1/1/20) and Your California Privacy Rights.

Temple University's new Charles Library, designed by Snøhetta and viewed here facing its primary eastern entrance, is a dramatic new campus fixture.

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