Architectural Drawings: Details

Architectural Drawings: Details Discussion

We’ve divided the architectural drawing into five areas.

Scroll down to “walk through” the diagram, or use these links to skip ahead:


Area 1 – The Ramp

Area 1 – The Ramp
Discover the Library’s Amazing Resources

The boundary between the Lower Commons (this project) and the Upper Commons (Phase II of the renovation) is the ramp that leads to the Cafe. After this project finishes, it won’t be just a hallway.

A gate located at the top of the ramp permits the area to be closed off for after hours study.

Monitors or posters will be added to the ramp, focusing on library resources. Did you know, for example, that Cowles Library offers the world’s largest collection of organized statistical data? Or that the Library makes it possible for you to read online every newspaper published in America from 1639 to 1800?

A little-used room at the foot of the ramp will be incorporated into the cafe area.

Area 2 – The Cafe Area

Area 2 – The Cafe Area
Recharge & Relax

The popular Cowles Cafe continues to be a focal point for Library users.

The seating directly across from the Cafe gets a facelift — possibly in the form of booths — to reduce crowding, improve the lighting and make it easier to work when the Cafe is busy.

Restrooms and a drinking fountain move into the Cafe area.

Vending machines will provide for a few after-hours amenities.

Area 3 – Social Learning Space

Area 3 – Social Learning Space
An Environment for People

The heart of the renovation is a social learning space that is an “environment for people” rather than a space for just a few approved activities or books.

Food & drink, comfortable chairs, flexible furnishings, ample power and a robust wireless network are the chief ingredients in the social learning recipe. Then add dynamic lighting, refurbishment of the windows and walls and abundant power into the mix to create a truly comfortable study environment.

Whiteboards, tables with writing surfaces and basic collaboration technology will further enrich the space.

Area 4 – Transitional Study Space (Historic Entry)

Area 4 – Transitional Study Space
Read and Reflect

Currently a little used hallway, the Historic Entry space will be recast as a comfortable, semi-quiet individual reading and conversational space adjacent to the more active social learning space component of the project.

Designers will play off the heavy woods and marble staircase of the entry to the 1937 building to bring the scholarly feel of the Reading Room to the main floor.

Rich book, newspaper and magazine displays will focus the space on reading, individual study and quiet conversation leading into the formal study and events space of the Reading and Colliers Rooms at the top of the stairs.

As a transitional space, this area is not part of the project’s after-hours space.

Area 5 – After Hours Entry

Area 5 – After Hours Entry
Pulling a Late Night

A new doorway and renovation of the existing south doors creates a new entry to the Library that will serve both for after-hours access and provide a welcoming and convenient entrance for users with mobility impairments.