University of Missouri St. Louis, Thomas Jefferson Library Addition

St. Louis, Missouri (1990)

University of Missouri St. Louis, Thomas Jefferson Library Addition

St. Louis, Missouri (1990)

Like all good designs, the library addition has had multiple positive impacts on the campus.  It accommodates the University’s 500,000 volume holding, it unites two campus quadrangles, and it fosters individual and community learning.  The design solution came in the form of a partially underground annex filled with natural light and featuring a roof top garden at grade which integrates the existing campus quadrangles.  A large glazed pyramid located above the two story rotunda brings natural light down into the rotunda’s study areas, it also serves as a monumental sculpture in the roof garden above, glowing softly at night.

Inside the annex the use of columns instead of solid walls creates a continuous space which visually connects the study spaces with the stacks and allows light to filter in from outside.  The glazed west facade brings natural light into the building while providing an intermediately scaled facade adjacent to the main university drive and creating a well defined edge to the campus.  In part due to its subterranean location, the annex is so energy efficient that all heating and air conditioning capacity can be drawn from the existing library’s mechanical system.  The annex provides facility operations spaces, greater storage capacity, access space for electronic media, and most importantly new study areas.  Constructed at a cost of $5 million, the annex achieved maximum program needs.