Snøhetta revealed its design today for the Temple University Library in Philadelphia, scheduled to open in 2018. Solitary book-hunting will yield to collaborative studying in the 225,000 square foot facility, designed in collaboration with Stantec. Placed at the intersection of two major pedestrian pathways and adjacent to a future campus quadrangle, the library is intended to anchor a new social and academic hub for Temple’s 37,800 students.
Arched wooden entrances will cut into the building’s stone-clad exterior, connecting inside to form a three-story domed atrium. An oculus carved into this central volume will create views across floors. A reading room on the top floor will open onto a terrace with stepped seating.
The library will use an automated book retrieval system to store more than 2 million volumes—freeing up room for study areas, resource centers, public spaces, an event hall, and a café. According to Snøhetta, this prioritization of space over stacks “challenges the traditional typology of the research library solely as a repository for books and archives.”