01 April 2005

Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture Library wins 2005 AIA / ALA Library Building Award

The Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture Library at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio was one of eight recipients of the 2005 AIA / ALA Library Building Award. Every other year, representatives from the AIA and the American Library Association (ALA) gather to celebrate the finest examples of library design by architects licensed in the United States. This is the first library on The Ohio State University campus to win the award and the fourth time a library designed by Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects has received the honor.

When considering this library as part of the program for their school of architecture, the faculty wanted to create an information and knowledge resource that could also serve as a reflective space away from the work environment of the design studios. The two-story glass-box, book-lined “room” accommodates 30,000 volumes and seating for 70 people in 40 table seats and 30 lounge chairs–each designed by a famous architect or designer. The library has an ample circulation desk with a closed reserve area, staff offices, workroom and storeroom, copy room, reference and journal areas, digital library and rare book room. With “reading rooms” at either end–and library services in the middle–the staff interacts easily with the users and maintains control of the space. Located at the end of the building’s circulation system, overlooking a roof garden, the library is both very visible and removed from the major action of the building. As a small indication of the library’s success, it drew more than 20,000 visitors in its first three months of operation while serving a population of 750.