Scottsdale Community College’s newly renovated 39,000 sq. ft. library installs the functions of a state-of-the art central campus library, while paying homage to the original architecture designed and constructed in 1970. The library includes two collaborative learning environment classrooms, eight media-enhanced study rooms, writable tables, a quiet study room, 90 modern computers, an abundance of soft seating options, space for displaying student work, and a self-check out system. The library’s interior brings a refreshing modern look with a color palette that enhances the users’ environment and creates a space in which students and faculty can revel. Community members who are not students can check out books on a community borrower’s card and use designated computers.
Solid foundations, thick wall architecture and organized wall textures that form grids reminiscent of tapestry-like shade screens are a few great characteristics of this old building. The existing glass clerestory was covered up for decades in a 1980 remodel which unfortunately created a library with little to no connection to the exterior. We found a new use for this great feature in the renovation of the library. The original floorplan was simple, with column-free bay spacing-ideal for a new technology-based library. To breathe new life into this amazing building, the design team removed everything, including the false “drop in” ceiling to find the original clerestory and expose the waffle slab structure. A new floor grid/flexible floor trench for electrical conduit and data runs was organized and implemented throughout the building. The floor trench alternative proved as an affordable option to a raised floor.
The interior makerspace and meeting spaces are set up with glass sliding doors providing full view from the interior center portion of the building to the exterior. The library staff sightlines maintain a clear view throughout the study space, computer spaces, collaboration, and digital makerspace. The library’s abundant book collection is located to the west of the building and provides a wonderful backdrop to the new library technology and lounge spaces.