HBRA Architects and University Librarian present concept plans for Alderman Library renovation to BOV

The back side of Alderman Library with a large patio space, several new entrances, and columned styling similar to historic parts of the building

The proposed new north entrance, with better utilization of outdoor space and a welcoming entree from the “Ivy Corridor” and University Avenue area.

Initial concept plans for the renovation of Alderman Library were presented to the UVA Board of Visitors (BOV) this week, providing the Board and the public with its first view of the proposed renovation of Alderman Library and nearby spaces.

Having now received feedback from the BOV, HBRA Architects will work with the University to refine and compile preliminary plans intended to go to the Virginia General Assembly in Fall 2018.

The proposal for a renovated Alderman includes:

  • All new (much-needed) building infrastructure, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, life safety, IT, and security.
  • A renovated south entrance and the addition of a new highly-accessible north entrance with better utilization of outdoor space and a welcoming entree from the “Ivy Corridor” and University Avenue area.
  • Better utilization of space to maximize access to the collections while creating a variety of usable spaces (meeting rooms, staff areas, learning spaces, spaces for research, study, examining materials, etc.).
  • Adaptability in the name of long-term use and collection growth, including floor load capable of supporting maximum weight of compact shelving through the first four floors of new construction.
  • Ample lighting (both natural and artificial), including better utilization of the internal light wells.
  • Restoration and optimization of historic Alderman characteristics, such as exterior envelope, masonry, windows, and wood cornices, as well as historic rooms, like Memorial Hall, Mt. Vernon Room, the McGregor Room, and others.
Bright, open space with a clear roof covering

Proposed atrium, utilizing existing light wells and making better use of natural light in Library spaces.

Specific plans for the renovated spaces will be in development for some time but the Library has made a point of prioritizing long-term flexibility and preservation of the collections in the process of designing new spaces and patron experiences.

In addition to planning for load-bearing floors (to support compact shelving) throughout four floors of new construction, the Library has nearly completed a year-long collection inventory, unearthing thousands of “lost” books and correcting records to aid in better search and discovery. Additionally, the Library is installing compact shelving on the first floor of Clemons Library, which will ensure robust access to collections both during and after the Alderman renovation.

This, combined with the significant expansion of the Ivy Stacks shelving facility (one mile from Grounds, on Old Ivy Road), and the Library’s continuing record of prompt delivery of materials between University facilities, demonstrate a commitment to the print collection and the research and scholarship that rely on it.

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Related resources

The existing Library front doors with three entry doors instead of one

Majority of new construction is on the north side of the building, but expanded south-facing doors (three instead of one) are also being proposed.



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