SMC LIBRARY PROJECT WINS PRESTIGIOUS
The American Institute of Architects has named the Santa Monica College Library Expansion & Renovation one of nine recipients of the prestigious 2007 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards – putting SMC in the same elite class as the Clinton Presidential Library.
Biennially, representatives from the AIA and the American Library Association gather to celebrate the finest examples of library design by architects licensed in the United States .
“The architects have transformed an outdated library into a modern community landmark on a college campus,” the jury members said of the SMC project. “The receptive spaces, subtle introduction of daylight, artful use of materials, and beautifully crafted details do not diminish the building, but rather improve it.”
The $23.6 million SMC Library project, designed by CO Architects of Los Angeles , was completed in 2003. The project nearly doubled the size of the facility, provided widespread Internet access, increased seating from 550 to 1,300, increased the number of computer stations from 65 to 220, and added 21 group study rooms.
In addition, the project included seismic retrofitting and a redesign of the exterior, with landscaping, benches, lighting and more. The AIA noted that the Library's new front porch “has become the campus heart – a place to meet, to be seen, to interact, and to learn.”
“The award is a great honor for SMC,” said Dean of Learning Resources Mona Martin, who worked closely with the architect on the library's design. “As Huell Howser said at the Library Grand Opening, ‘This library is the heart and soul of the campus.' The Library now meets the research and study needs of our students and faculty. Our students deserve a state-of-the-art library like this.”
The metal-glass-concrete building also features major interior changes. Dark gray countertops are constructed from Ceasarstone, white oak is the predominant wood found throughout, and new carpeting was installed. With three stories divided into five levels, the Library features plentiful skylights and atriums, giving the structure an open and airy feel.
The centerpiece for the Library is an elliptical wood-paneled “building-within-a-building,” flanked at the north end by a dramatic three-story glass elevator tower.
The other winners of the AIA/ALA awards are:
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