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Lied L i br ar y

Las Vegas

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Lied Library Univ ersity of Nevada, Las Veg a s Las Vegas, Nevada A New Paradigm

No longer programmed to be a place of hushed silence, today’s university library often serves as a dynamic campus gathering spot for students, faculty, and staff. In this new paradigm, the library not only offers ready access to knowledge and information but also accommodates contemporary student learning and living styles with sophisticated electronic information access, comfortable seating, and extended hours of operation. When the Lied Library on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’s -acre (-ha) main campus opened in , it was hailed as just such a facility—both a superbly functional library and a new campus social hub. Site Significance

Centrally located on a corner site and across from the main classroom complex, the ,-sq.-ft. (,-sq-m) library is easily reached by anyone in the university community as well as by the general public. Shaded exterior meeting places along the curved southeast corner of the building provide generous seating and places of respite for passersby. UNLV’s current master plan reflects the library’s importance by organizing all future building zones and campus growth around this core facility. Information Commons

Pivotal to L A D’ design concept is the creation of a central “Information Commons”—a grand five-story-high atrium surmounted by a curved roof of exposed steel trusses and metal decking. Beneath this roof of revealed construction, library patrons can work at computers that are grouped in cherry-clad media stations arranged under curved, perforated metal canopies that echo the roof and define the individual workplaces. On the north and west sides of this dynamic, light-filled spatial nexus are staff stations, work areas,


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and reference facilities, along with a variety of reading spaces and stacks for books and periodicals. Wayfinding to these essential functions is both efficient and spatially enriching. The southern side of the atrium features a two-story-high transparent glass wall that showcases the library’s innovative book storage and retrieval system, a robotic mechanism capable of finding and delivering a given book to the circulation desk in fewer than six minutes. The automated system—the third one installed in the United States at the time of the building’s construction—provides efficient space-saving storage for less frequently used books and is capable of accommodating . million volumes when fully expanded. In conjunction with traditional open-stack shelving, this fully mechanized system ultimately enables the library to store a total of  million volumes without the need for building expansion. The two-story-high supporting framework of bright blue steel, the perfectly ordered stacked storage bins of white, and the precise, rapid movements of the mobile yellow crane together form a large kinetic sculpture on view to all within the Commons. LAS VEGAS


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Ground floor plan

Third floor plan


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Massin g

Lied Library’s exterior massing is the result of a design strategy that treats key programmatic functions as distinct components in both plan and elevation. Curved roof and wall profiles of differing radii and size recall the geometries of several existing campus buildings yet produce a uniquely identifiable structure. Exterio r M a t e r i a l s

Exterior materials—essentially limited to concrete masonry, metal, and glass—reinforce the building’s varied massing and introduce differing scales of visual texture. Split-face concrete masonry units echo the exteriors of several newer buildings on campus, provide a rich textural quality when struck by the sun, and wed the building to its site. Large lightweight zinc panels, laid in an offset joint pattern, produce a reflective skin that seems to float above heavier concrete units used where the building meets the ground. Glass is featured either as large wall planes for maximum transparency or as small punched openings in walls that are primarily solid surfaces.

LAS VEGAS


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Interior Profiles

The building’s interior also consists of expressive profiles and varied surface textures. For example, to avoid large expanses of painted drywall, canted wood panels of contrasting color, stainless steel railings, and limited surfaces of split-face concrete block introduce wall compositions of visual richness and tactile variety. An internal circulation spine connecting the two main entrances, on the north and east sides, forms a diagonal axis through the building. Major vertical elements consisting of stairs, elevators, and escalators are located along this route, as are the central circulation desk, a -seat, -hour study café, and a university teaching/learning center. Environ m e n t a l R e s p o n s e

Programmatic functions are arranged in direct response to the environmental forces of the desert climate that characterizes the site. Functions that need little or no natural light— such as workrooms, the book storage wing, and media resources—are placed on the south or west sides of the site, with only small windows to minimize insolation and therefore LAS VEGAS


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cooling requirements. North-facing reading areas on the upper two floors are accessed by passing through open stacks and enjoy unimpeded vistas of the distant horizon through generous window walls. By arranging these spaces along a gentle curve and segmenting them into smaller reticulated spatial units, these reading bays assuage the scale of the north wall and produce a visual rhythm in counterpoint to the lower solid walls of the building. Perforated metal screens projecting from the space between these bays bounce sunlight to the interior and provide additional surface articulation to this long metal-clad wall. On the east faรงade, additional projecting sunscreens offer effective sun control, their resulting shadow patterns constantly shifting with the diurnal path of the sun. D a ylight Harvesting

The building owes much of its highly sculptural quality to the harvesting of daylight both to reduce energy costs and to provide the interior with varying levels of natural and reflected sunlight, whether from the sunscreened glazing of the east faรงade or from upper-level clerestories. LAS VEGAS


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Extensive computer modeling during the design phase has allowed changing daylight conditions to be electronically monitored and accommodated. In addition, all interior lighting is designed to furnish appropriate light levels for computer use. C a mpus Icon

Intended to serve as a center of knowledge and learning for the next ďœľďœ° years, the building has been designed with integrated power and data systems to accommodate the inevitable changes the future will demand. In keeping with the traditional role of this building type on the American university campus, Lied Library is a dramatic signature building for the Univer-sity of Nevada, Las Vegas—one that combines a technologically adaptable and flexible environment with generous and welcoming areas for study and social activity.

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UNLV Library