University of New Hampshire

Dimond Library

Modernizing a 1960s era building.

The original library building, built in 1957, was designed with a traditional separation between the public areas, service and stacks. When the building was enlarged ten years later, the addition created large floorplates that eroded the definition between the public use areas and stacks. The primary challenge was to bring the library services and functions up to date and reanimate the library experience.

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Making the user experience more intuitive.

With a limited budget, the approach was to reuse the existing building for the stacks and reference areas and designate the new construction to create large public reading areas and the primary library service. The library visitor is oriented on each floor with reference to the three-story entrance lobby and can proceed to the reading rooms, stacks or the staff/service points without hesitation.

UNH Dimond Library Before and After campu 2 Zt L

Reshaping the campus experience.

The simplicity of traditional New England forms and reuse of building structure characterizes the design solution. Taking down the old entry portico and covering two sides of the existing building with taller new construction allowed the building forms to be reinserted into the main campus organization with a more civic-scaled presence. Two new wings that house the major public spaces of the library are brought out further into the primary central courtyard on campus to better engage the student pedestrian experience.

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274 Graham Gund Partners 2018 04 10 Gene 82 U8