Facility Focus (Libraries, Media Centers and Learning Labs)

Villanova University: Falvey Library

Villanova University: Falvey Library interior images

PHOTOS © JEFFREY TOTAROO

As libraries move to become more interactive and experiential places for learning, transformations like BLT Architects’ recent renovation of the Falvey Library at Pennsylvania’s Villanova University are critical to maintaining an integral element to college campuses and higher education.

“The new Learning Commons in Falvey is an engaging, state-of-the-art center for learning and inquiry,” says Joe Lucia, former university librarian. “We wanted to create a more seamless network of support for our students by consolidating the learning space and establishing a central location for support resources.”

Renovations continue at the library with an update to the Falvey’s original reading room.

The preliminary phase of BLT Architects’ master plan for the Falvey Library transformed an open stacks area on the second floor into a new learning environment, creating spaces for studying, tutoring and research.

In addition, the shared facility brought together four separate programs that were previously scattered throughout Villanova’s campus: the research center, the learning support services office, the math learning resource center and the writing center. Furthermore, the Learning Commons houses a learning support services office, which provides resources for studying, academic coaching and support for students with learning disabilities.

Based on a “learning commons” philosophy, the design is developed around a shared street concept that exposes users to all of the academic support resources the university offers. Each program is facilitated in dedicated offices and workspaces that open onto a commodious corridor, which doubles as a lounge and breakout space. Arranged around the building perimeter, these spaces have large windows for ample daylight and views. The interior of the square floor plan is designated to shared classrooms, conference spaces and test proctoring rooms.

This article originally appeared in the December 2016 issue of College Planning & Management.

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