Charles Chu Reading Room, Connecticut College

Charles Chu Reading Room, Connecticut College

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New London, Connecticut

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The opportunity to create a special reading room for quiet study at the Shain Library at Connecticut College arose from the need to display a significant collection of Asian Art. The artworks are predominantly Chinese scrolls, and the verticality of this particular form is made a counterpoint to the essential horizontality of the space as a whole.  Specially designed bronze and wood cabinets display the scrolls individually, and provide organization for groupings of comfortable armchairs and tables.

Recognition

Honor Award for Interior Architecture, Boston Society of Architects 
Award of Recognition — Women in Design, Boston Society of Architects 

Before

Before

After

After

It was the architects’ intent to design a serene and beautiful environment, to maintain the original openness of the space while creating a new coherence and unity, to establish a distinctive character for the room while preserving its relationship to the rest of the library, and to highlight the exhibited art while retaining the wide-angle view of the surrounding trees and grounds ... By emphasizing simplicity, tranquility, and elegance, the Schwartz/Silver concept reflects the traditional Asian design principles so creatively embraced by Charles Chu in his own painting and in his curatorship of the Chu-Griffis Art Collection.
— Brian Rogers, Connecticut College, Retired Special Collections Librarian
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Collaborators

General Contractor: KBE Building Corporation
Photographer: © Peter Vanderwarker