Collaboration and Curiosity

Perspective showing research zone, with flexible teaching space.

Confronted with an underutilized library, our design sought to transform that generic space through zone planning and adaptable off the shelf products. Our scheme focused around a gradient that would determine specific usage zones. The zones, Social, Research, and Quiet, would then dictate furniture style, which in turn influences how a student uses that area. The purpose is to maximize efficiency within each zone by providing the tools that students demand.

FrontierLibrary [Converted]

Zoning diagram, Social to individual gradient

The Social zone facilitates as much movement as possible.The proximity to the entrance subjects this zone to heavy traffic, so furniture must adapt to different demands throughout the day. This zone will also have neighboring access to the computer lab and research zone, making it a key thoroughfare. The furniture allows for this constant movement, as all the installations are open and easily accessible. The circulation is arranged in a way that draws students away from the entrance, and invites them further into the learning commons.


The Research Zone forms the most adaptable space. This zone must be able to accommodate several key elements, and therefore has a high degree of customization possible. That space can easily accommodate a quick study stop or elaborate group projects, all with the move of a desk. Through combinable workspaces, the space promotes peer collaboration, something lacking in libraries of the past.

The Research Zone will also include a flexible teaching area, which, while unused, can also serve as a group work room. The furniture in the space can quickly transform to accommodate that change, thereby encouraging impromptu study sessions. The walls will all be writable and translucent, facilitating a web of visual and auditory interest throughout the different zones.


The quiet zone will perform much like a traditional library. This zone will provide for those who prefer an isolated learning environment. This zone will feature more static furniture, and avoid excess traffic. this will be accomplished by use of more static furniture, and less opportunity for connection. Study carrels and reading loungers will fill the space, the individual becomes the focus.