Segments in this Video

Integrating Design With Environment (06:28)


Susan Nutter, director of libraries at North Carolina State University describes the development of the library for science, engineering, and technology students, which offers books and new technologies. North Carolina's history of textiles inspired the building; Craig Dykers wanted to weave the building into the landscape, creating an innovative design that promoted viewing of the natural surroundings.

Design Elements for Collaboration and Comfort (04:41)

Solar blades cover the long sides of the library, creating a weaving effect and deflecting sunlight from windows. Greek architecture inspired the long open space where students move freely, see everything, and communicate with others.

Monument for a Shared History (01:56)

Snøhetta designed a monument to the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. The entrance to the underground museum invites visitors to feel connected to the past through reflective walls.

Technology Accessible to All (05:41)

The James B. Hunt Jr. Library takes a new approach to managing resources in which technology and creative tools are available to students. A large-scale visualization theater creates an immersive, shared learning experience. A video game lab allows all students a chance to create games, while a naval simulator provides a unique training opportunity.

Community-Centered Library (06:28)

The South Mountain Community Library combines the resources of a community college with a public library, providing a space for the two communities to integrate. Architect team of richärd+bauer, inspired by the desert landscape, technology, and aerial maps, created a building that encourages natural light and accessibility. Speaking with users allowed them to understand what kind of space was needed through a charrette design process.

Technological and Natural Influences (08:25)

The architects of South Mountain Library used a geolocation model to view the building on a map and perform solar studies to see how the sun will interact with the building. A material palate shows a selection of sustainable and durable materials, including cut panels that represent the environmental history of the region. As the use and storage of information changes, libraries need to adapt.

Sound in a Library (01:18)

The quality of quiet in a library depends on background noise and distractions. In quieter spaces, isolated sounds are more distracting, whereas background noise can minimize those distracting sounds.

Seattle Public Library (07:37)

The Seattle Public Library had to serve over one million and consider access to information and community needs. Sam Miller explains that the design centers around purpose-based platforms, staggered to encourage light and views. Joshua Prince Ramus explains that the book is still significant, but the library is comprised of only one-third books and information, and two-thirds social interaction.

Library in City Context (04:51)

A study model of the library conveys the function of the building's design— it is integrated in its environment. Deborah Jacobs led community forums about the library to gain support and envision the library's future. She argues that a library should be engaged in and welcoming to the community

Book Spiral, Auditorium, and Meeting Space (02:40)

The book spiral design, modeled on a parking garage, is physically accessible to all and allows visitors to view the collection continuously. The auditorium is open to the library, so music spreads throughout. The meeting room is inspired by a heart, and painted bright red.

Structure and Efficiency (02:10)

The diamond shaped windows are stronger than squares, and the sloping surfaces resist force. Paul Kassabian explains why triangles, broken down into diamonds are stronger than squares. The library uses sun-deflecting technology to mediate heat and glare.

Libraries for the Community (02:30)

Jacobs argues that the library is an important part of a democracy. It serves a community's needs. Libraries today are adapting to changes in information use, and design is inspired by new technology.

Credits: Cool Spaces: Libraries (01:07)

Credits: Cool Spaces: Libraries

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Cool Spaces: Libraries

Part of the Series : Cool Spaces
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



The James B. Hunt Jr. Library at North Carolina State University, the Seattle Public Library, and South Mountain Community Library in Phoenix are highlighted.

Length: 57 minutes

Item#: BVL151187

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.