Pfeiffer planned, programmed and designed the expansion and transformation of the once dark, cramped, technologically outdated UCSB’s Davidson Library into the light-filled “library of the future,” now the scholastic and social heart of the campus. The renovated and expanded Library is the University’s main library, supporting research collections, digital services and instructional functions, as well as housing significant special collections. It serves UCSB’s 18,800 students and 1,000 faculty members in addition to the surrounding community.
Working with the University, our goal with the new addition was to transform what was primarily a “book depository” into a contemporary center for active research, collaboration and knowledge, as well as to greatly enhance the library’s connectivity to the campus. Efforts began with a visioning effort, followed by a feasibility and space planning process, determining how the vision might best be accomplished through new and renovated spaces.
The luminous new, LEED Gold certified three-story addition functions as a 24/7 information commons, programmed for open study and interactive uses and features a ground floor café, a new home for Special Collections area includes event space for lectures and small campus events. The new Special Collections area includes a three-story vault, featuring a cold room, conservation wet lab, a video recording lab and a digitization lab, along with seminar rooms and exhibit areas. An internal “paseo” connects the library’s original front door facing University Mall, to buildings on the emerging East Campus, providing a dual entry. Finally, what was once a sloping green lawn in front of the library with little activity, is today a vibrant new public space in the heart of campus, made possible by the library’s new addition.
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