High school students came back to campus after summer break to find the main library completely reimagined. Over the break, the library was gutted and a larger, modern learning space created. This new design, by the renowned Japanese architect Paul Tange, who is a former ASIJ parent and trustee, creates more space for students to collaborate, conduct research, and also to study quietly when needed.
A wall of windows opens onto the courtyard providing plenty of natural light and is the first step in creating an indoor/outdoor community space in this very busy area of campus. From there, the interior space is organized into several zones that range from a relaxed conversation area, through increasingly quieter areas back to three small rooms for collaborative work and the “Zen Corner” for silent study.
Two large interactive touch screens located amongst the bookshelves allow access to the library catalog other multimedia content. The “IdeaXchange” provides further space for larger groups to collaborate and features an entire wall covered in special dry-erase paint for brainstorming activities. During free periods it is also used to screen TED Talks and other short videos.
The new library has tripled the capacity for students, improved the flexibility of the library as a teaching space, and provided students with tools for research and collaboration.