Spectrum Design Architecs | Engineers

VA Western Community College: Brown Library Renovation

Roanoke, VA

In the newly renovated Brown Library at Virginia Western Community College, students are provided a variety of places to study that coincide with different work needs and styles. Renovations included the removal of existing partitions at the offices in the center of the floor to the floor to be more open, creating an inviting collaborative place for Virginia Western's student population. Many of the book stacks were removed to and will be housed on the second floor of the library while the reference desk and offices were moved to one side of the floor. Lounge seating is utilized to provide a more casual relaxed atmosphere both in the center of the room and at a small cafe area to one side so that students have a place to relax, do wireless laptop work or read. For those requiring more focused or solitary work, individual computer stations and study carrels are provided. The study rooms incorporate the latest in collaborative study technology where four to six students can plug-in multiple laptops at once and share their work on flat screens, easily switching from one laptop to another.

By the placement of spaces and use of glass view panels, the offices and study rooms possess a high degree of visibility. In addition to a more open floor plan, ceilings were removed to expose existing structural slabs at some areas, allowing higher ceilings and a more open feel. Acoustic ceiling clouds are mounted at angles, increasing the dynamism of the space while the palette of warm reds, greens, and golds strives to provide a warm and inviting feel. Spectrum worked closely with the staff of VWCC to achieve the right balance with the colors and finishes. It was important that the space appeal to students so that they would utilize it, but it was equally essential that it still have a traditional library atmosphere that encouraged contemplation and quiet.