James B. Hunt Jr. Library

Lower level entry

Lower level entry

I visited North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus this weekend to check out the new James B. Hunt Jr. Library that was recently completed. The building was designed by Norwegian Architects Snohetta, and is a standout building on a campus of mainly nondescript metal panel and brick “technology” buildings. Most of the building’s space is dedicated to study areas, and it is furnished with a large selection of modern furniture.

Main space with lots of natural light

Main space with lots of natural light

But wait, where are all the books? There is some shelf space with reference books and periodicals, but the majority of the collection resides on the lower level of the library and is accessed by a mechanical “book-bot” that delivers metal book crates to the staff where they pull the individual volume and deliver it to the student. I’ve always been a fan of browsing the book shelves in a library, so I’m not quite sure how I feel about this method, but it is nice to see so much space dedicated to the student work areas.

Book storage boxes on shelves with mechanical retrieval system

Book storage boxes on shelves with mechanical retrieval system

Under the yellow stairway

Under the yellow stairway

West side faces Lake Raleigh

West side faces Lake Raleigh

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Architecture, Raleigh. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to James B. Hunt Jr. Library

  1. JZ says:

    I need to check it out…I cannot believe Raleigh “got” a Snohetta building. Their moves seem to be starting to wear thin, however. I admire these guys tremendously. I’ve seen Dykers speak 2 or 3 times, own 2 of their books…. their Opera House, Karmoy Fishing and Peter Dass Museums are fantastic for their craft, siting and response to context. But it seems like their forms are all converging on few moves. Maybe I’m as much at fault for expecting each ‘signature’ building they do to be so different. Maybe they have a process that evolves through longer arcs of time. Its not like Wright’s 500+ homes are radically different year to year…but across his career you see the evolution of thought. They’re young enough that we will get to see if they go through the same process…. (p.s. You know Ween works in/out of here, right?)

  2. Vincent says:

    JZ- Cool form and skin, crazy display of many varieties of furniture, nice spaces, along with what seems to be some environmentally sensitive site design. I guess I’m glad the university recognized the need to hire a firm that could create a signature for the campus, but the rural Carolinian in me wants to see a little more of a local focus in the whole thing: materials, furniture, maybe even formally.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s