Today marks the dedication of the James B. Hunt Jr. Library at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., designed by the New York offices of international firm Snøhetta. The new 149,226-square-foot library—the second main library on campus, and part of its Centennial Campus plan—features open spaces that connect its floors, with smaller rooms branching off the main stair for students in need of more focused environments. For circulation of its holdings, the library depends upon a five-story robotic book retrieval system called BookBot that can store and access a two-million-volume collection in one-ninth the space of traditional systems. Other high-tech resources include visualization labs to support interactive gaming technology, and a submarine simulator, developed in partnership with the U.S. Navy, that can be used for ROTC training.
The Hunt Library takes advantage of its location by offering views out toward Lake Raleigh, which is just south of the building; outdoor study spaces and seating areas are sited in the surrounding landscape, which was also designed by Snøhetta. A facade composed of fritted glass with fixed vertical aluminum shading fins helps to reduce solar heat gain, and a combination of chilled beams and radiant panels maintain comfortable temperatures inside. Green roofs and rain gardens provide permeable surfaces to alleviate storm water runoff. The Hunt Library is targeting LEED Silver, pending certification.
For more details and images of the James B. Hunt Jr. Library at NCSU, visit ARCHITECT's Project Gallery.