Goddard Library cited as a "model for sensitive, strategic reuse"

The Goddard Library project at Clark University (pictured above) is the recipient of a Special Citation from SCUP/AIA for Architecture Renovation or Adaptive Reuse. The article publiushed in the annual award issue is duplicated below:

Library is model for sensitive, strategic reuse

The project began as an improvement to library operations and an upgrade to mechanical systems and lighting of Goddard Library at Clark University. Designed in 1969 by American architect John Johansen, the building needed an upgradeto continue to function.

It became clear that in addition to the micro-scale improvements that were required, macro-scale improvements could complement the mission of the library and bring together the campus community. By removing the plaza level (at grade) ramps that directed traffic to the second level entrance and enclosing the resulting void, the space could be captured and re-programmed as a new social and academic campus hub. Described as a "campus living room" by the client, the design of this space became an integral part of the project.

This idea meant that the planners needed to include members from other departments scattered across campus. The willingness of the library group to embrace this broader vision, and welcome other departments into their building was critical to the success of the programming phase of the project.

"This space has proven to be a terrific addition to the social and academic life of our campus ... the reuse and modification of existing facilities is an approach that must be more regularly considered," says David Angel, provost and president-elect.

The lesson is that unexpected but productive opportunities exist in and among existing structures. Sometimes clients identify these opportunities and hire an architect to exploit them. Other times, as was the case with Goddard Library, the architect must seek them out, and  guide the client in tailoring available spaces to desired programs.

The library meets the challenge of introducing new programmatic, technological, and space requirements into a historically significant structure without damaging its original character.

The jury said, "...tremendous improvement to the building ... important trend that buildings have value, can be reused ..."

Project Team: Clark University for the Academic Commons at Goddard Library; with Perry Dean Rogers | Partners Architects; Consigli Construction, Inc.; LeMessurier Consultants; BVH Integrated Services; Tillotson Design Associates.