Located adjacent to the Rotunda, Edgar Shannon Library plays a central role in the student experience as the physical and cultural heart of the University of Virginia campus. HBRA Architects and Clark Nexsen are partnering on a complete, 100,000 square foot restoration and a 130,000 square foot expansion that will upgrade the library’s physical features and create a contemporary facility with increased technology and daylighting. The vision for the Edgar Shannon Library Renovation & Expansion centers on revitalizing this high profile, historic building as a space for engaged learning and study.

Originally built in 1938, this is its first major renovation and will transform key aspects of the facility’s program. A new connecting bridge from the UVA historic building to the nearby Clemons Library will be created. The design focuses on creating a contemporary structure with state-of-the-art technology and learning spaces. The overall goal is to “produce a building that allows for growth in collections, is responsive to the impact of digital scholarship, is ready for the evolution of knowledge, and accommodates changes over time.” With large collaboration areas, private study carrels, maker spaces, a café, classrooms, offices, and media rooms, among other spaces, the new Edgar Shannon Library will be a model of 21st century learning. Compact shelving and archival spaces for rare books and maps will allow for engagement with physical books while maximizing the diversity of spaces in which students can study. When complete, the library will house approximately one million volumes with room for growth.

The renovation of the historic Alderman building emphasizes restoration and preservation. It will restore the exterior masonry, windows, and doors, and maintain historic interior characteristics while replacing outdated systems including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, equipment, technology, security, and vertical transportation. The addition will be seamlessly integrated with the historic building, and exterior improvements will provide students with a landscaped outdoor environment for study and gathering.