A long way from their offices in Oslo and New York, the Architects from Snohetta have put the finishing touches on the Hunt Library in Raleigh, North Carolina. The library is a sweeping and modern addition to North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus, where the project’s aluminum skin and contemporary presence contrast the more staunchly traditional brick buildings that flank the silvery structure. Aside from standing out among the buildings on campus, the project stands out among libraries because it pushes the typology toward something more contemporary. Instead of a staunchly academic space, the project is relaxed and collaborative; it just seems like the future.
Are there books? Yes, and if you’d like one, there is a robotic retrieval system that will be happy to fetch one for you. It’s an innovative storage system that isn’t usually this apparent, although it takes up only 1/9th the space of traditional book stacks. There are reading rooms where you can read books, rendered in vibrant colors and washed in natural light that has filtered through the fritted glass and aluminum fins of the project’s skin. Then there’s a whole slew of other spaces that make this library a kind of technological wonderland. Expansive, interactive screens in one part of the building, 3-D printing services in another, and rooms built where you can do things like learn how to design a video game. This was not my college library experience, but looking through the pictures or watching this video, it’s hard not to be jealous of the students. For a few fleeting years the library is theirs, so between exams and research papers I hope they enjoy it while it lasts. After that, like the rest of us, they’ll have to enjoy it from far away.
Found through FRAME