BRYN MAWR COLLEGE RHYS CARPENTER LIBRARY

BRYN MAWR, PA / 10,000 SF RENOVATION + 35,000 SF EXPANSION

1986-1997

This project heralds the transformation of the academic library from a quiet book-filled study sanctuary to an active academic and social center. Respectful of its setting, the modern glass, steel and stone two-story library is conceived as a restrained expansion to historic Thomas Hall, nestling into a sloping site under a grassy roof terrace. A central four-story high atrium hosting both passive activities such as reading as well as organized events, connects the old and new buildings while bringing daylight and by night, moonlight, into the lower levels. The library’s dense weave of study, lecture, seminar, book stack and office spaces create settings for planned and spontaneous interactions amongst students and faculty. Today this library is a top stop on Bryn Mawr campus tours.

As design principal of Henry Myerberg Architects, Henry Myerberg oversaw the modern expansion and renovation of this National Registered historic building prior to joining Rockwell Group. A modern addition to a historic library presents inevitable stylistic challenges and this solution manages to provide an architecture true to its own time, yet deferential to its historic neighbor. The new two-story library, built as an expansion to Thomas Hall, a historic collegiate Gothic building designed by Cope and Stewardson in 1904, is submerged under a grassy roof terrace and connects to the old building through a four-story high atrium reading room. The library houses Bryn Mawr’s world-renowned Art and Archaeology and Growth of Cities collections.

Use: Library

Services provided:  Architectural design interior design

Location: Bryn Mawr, PA
Size: 30,000 sq. ft. new construction

10,000 sq. ft. renovation Client: Bryn Mawr College

Completed: 1997

Awards:

2001 American Library Association and AIA Award of Excellence

2001 AIA New York State Excellence in Design Award

1998 AIA NYC Distinguished Architecture Honor Award

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New York, NY 10001

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