Shain Library

Shain Library

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Connecticut College’s Charles E. Shain Library was constructed in 1973 in the academic “Brutalist” style, with façades of corduroy textured concrete, slit windows, and an entry bridge that passed over a sunken dry moat  –  a true ‘fortress’ for books.  With a construction cost of only $60 / SF, the renovation has transformed the building, enhanced views, provided social connections between the library floors, and created a modern, vibrant Information Commons.  The moat has been filled in to create a new entry plaza with outdoor seating for a café.  New bay windows are created from the original paired slits.  And a large double-height window over the entry provides sweeping views of the campus. 

 

Recognition

Honor Award, American Library Association / international Interior Design Association
New Landmark Libraries Design Award, American Library Association (ALA) 
Best Regional Renovation/Restoration, Engineering News Record
Design Award, Boston Society of Architects
Honor Award for Excellence in Preservation, AIA New England

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The design is brilliant, and even visionary - a quintessential example of how to take an aging, though significant late-Brutalist period building from the mid-70’s and transform it into a place that is not only a container for intellectual work, but one that actively inspires students and faculty to engage in cutting-edge research and scholarship.
— W. Lee Hisle, Librarian of the College
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Collaborators

Landscape Architect: Kyle ZIck Landscape Architecture, Inc.
Owner’s Project Representative: Diversified Project Management, Inc.
Structural Engineer: Roome & Guarracino, LLC
Mechanical, Plumbing, Electrical Engineer: Garcia, Galuska, DeSousa Inc. 
Civil Engineer: Boundaries LLC
Code: Rolf Jensen & Associates, Inc.  
General Contractor: KBE Building Corporation
Photographer: © Paul Burk