University of Florida Library West Addition

Location: Gainesville, Florida
Program: Library Renovation and Addition
LEED Certification: Gold
Status: Complete, 2006
Photography: © David Moore
Selected Recognition: First Place, Architectural Showcase, Winter, FEFPA 2007. Outstanding Buildings: Renovation/Modernization AM School and University Architectural Portfolio, 2007. Honorable Mention, Excellence in  Design, Environmental Design + Construction Magazine 2007. Technology Awards, Existing Institutional Building, ASHRAE- Region XII 2006-2007. Outstanding Masonry Project, Masonry Association of Florida 2006.

The main objective of the University of Florida West Addition was to create a state-of-the-art library that holds 1.7 million volumes, seats approximately 1600 patrons, and houses the library staff in a healthy and productive environment. The project included the construction of a three-story, 60,000 square foot addition, and renovation of the existing 117,000 square foot distributed on six floors.

Library West at the University of Florida is located on University Avenue in Gainesville.  The design concept provides a north facade transparent enough that activity and books can be seen from vehicular and pedestrian traffic on this major Gainesville artery.  This design strategy emphasizes the building’s essential purposes, as well as presenting a welcoming presence to the community.  A transparent glass exterior wall at the first and second floors provides visual connection at the main entrance and creates a powerful connection between the library and the Plaza of the Americas.

Though not an obviously “green” building, the project was carefully planned and designed using the LEED rating system and incorporates many sustainable strategies, such as specifying environmentally friendly materials and energy efficient building systems.