In a celebration today attended by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and other dignitaries, the Atlanta University Center (AUC) rededicated the renovated Robert W. Woodruff Library, unveiling its interactive and technology-rich 21st century learning environment.
Shepley Bulfinch’s completion of the first phase of this major renovation included more than 130,000 square feet of the Woodruff Library’s 220,000 square foot facility. The renovation replaced many solid interior walls with glass panels, drawing natural light deep into the space.
The inviting and dynamic main floor, with its media creation and presentation space and digital resources, is visible through a series of folding glass panels that separate group learning spaces and an extended-hours e-café from the rest of the library. Bleachers in the extended-hours area convert existing stairs into seating.
The new Woodi Learning Commons supports collaborative, interactive, and technology-rich teaching, learning, and research. The Learning Commons was conceived as a space that integrates digital, and print information resources with classrooms, private spaces for reference consultation, learning labs, open seating, and collaborative study rooms. The library’s upper level houses Archives Research Center and its re-designed reading room, together with seven group study/meeting spaces.
The first phase of the renovation opened for student use in January 2010 and was completed in May. Plans for the second phase include upgrades to the library’s exhibition hall; long-term protection for the Library’s valuable archival collections; and integration of energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable elements.
The two-phase renovation project was the first major interior upgrade since the building’s dedication in 1982. Shepley Bulfinch completed a master plan for the Library in 2005.