Renewed library encourages students to gather, connect, and create at the heart of Harper College
Harper College’s library, built in 1968, had not been renovated in more than 20 years. It was dark, cluttered, and difficult to navigate. The renewed 107,000-square-foot David K. Hill Family Library welcomes students to a spacious, light-filled hub at the center of campus. It’s a place to interact, explore, connect, create, study, get academic support, or simply enjoy the views.
An atrium/grand stair unites the three stories, draws students into the library, and offers seating bays at intermediate stair landing extensions. This learning link eliminates the former second entrance to the old library and provides optimal control for staff.
Lowered second-floor shelves and internal glazing disseminate daylight and maximize views throughout the space, while diverse seating options accommodate collaboration and individual study. Small group collaboration rooms, audio/video recording rooms, and The Make Shop encourage interaction and content creation.
The Academic Support Center on the first floor unites the Writing Center, Tutoring Center, and Success Services in a highly visible location. Previously, the programs were tucked away on the third floor.
The original north façade, with its dark, recessed windows and thick bands of concrete, created an unwelcoming presence on the campus’s quad. The renovation eliminates the recessed condition on the second and third floors by pushing out the window wall to the building perimeter, thus disguising the concrete bands. This solution provides a modern aesthetic and creates 3,500 square feet of additional library floor area without building an addition. The new two-story glass façade expresses the two floors of the library with a random vertical mullion pattern suggesting books on a shelf.