Norfolk State University’s (NSU) newly completed Lyman Beecher Brooks Library earned national recognition as a merit winner of the America’s Best Buildings of the Year (ABBY) awards, sponsored by Building magazine. The award program honors building projects around the country that exemplify forward-looking design and operational excellence in commercial and institutional facilities. The Lyman Beecher Brooks Library is one of only ten projects featured in the 2013 ABBY awards program.
Internationally, NSU’s new library has also been included on World Architecture News’ (WAN) annual list of the world’s best new educational projects. Projects are selected from a global pool of submissions by a judging panel comprised of educators, professionals, and architectural experts.
The ABBY and WAN awards follow on the heels of the opening of the new 136,000-square-foot Lyman Beecher Brooks Library in March of 2012. Moseley Architects partnered with the university to create a state-of-the-art facility that serves the campus’s growing student population. A marquee building for the campus, the library is a cornerstone of the university’s master plan revitalization efforts and was designed to play a crucial role in re-developing the core of the campus. The library offers a variety of study and learning environments to both students and the community, including the Information Commons located directly off of the main lobby, which serves as an informal collaborative study environment and includes an Internet Café.
The dynamic form of the new building includes a dramatic 90-foot tall glass-enclosed rotunda that invites pedestrian circulation from the east and west. At night this feature serves as a beacon of learning and knowledge for the campus and by day the three-story rotunda channels natural light and warmth into the library’s modern interior spaces. The building features generous sections of curtain wall and punched windows with high performance glazing to maximize natural light, along with shading devices to control heat gain. The building’s stepped floor plate design allows for controlled natural light to filter back into the adjacent support spaces off the main reading room. The interior program spaces are designed to create a sense of openness and provide a visual connection to adjacent activities, as well as frame views of the campus quadrangles to the east and west.
The Lyman Beecher Brooks Library is anticipating LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Notable sustainable features include natural day-lighting, low-energy mechanical systems, low-emissivity glazing, increased wall and roof insulation, water reducing plumbing fixtures, and reflective standing-seam metal roofing. The sustainable features employed in the design of the new library account for energy cost reductions of approximately 22 percent.
This project will join Moseley Architect’s growing list of 49 LEED certified projects ranging from platinum to basic certification and will mark the firm’s 24th LEED Gold project. Other recent collegiate Gold certified projects include Blue Ridge Community College’s Advanced Technology Center, the College of William and Mary’s Mason School of Business, James Madison University’s CISAT Campus Dining Hall, Longwood University’s Student Health & Wellness Center, Richard Bland College’s James McNeer Hall Science and Technology Laboratory, Virginia Commonwealth University’s Cary Street Recreation Center, and Virginia Tech’s Henderson Hall & Theatre 101.