The Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons is designed to meet the changing needs of today’s students with the understanding that, in the age of the internet, libraries no longer exist simply to house books.
Following an intense visioning process for the new library, which included benchmarking trips to libraries, retail, museum, and hospitality spaces, Stantec cultivated a common vision with Grand Valley State University—quality of space over quantity of space. From this process emerged the often-used project mantra “every seat is a good seat.”
The building has a range of spaces to give students variety. Zones are engineered to separate users with different needs: quiet spaces for those who want no distractions and high-energy, social zones for multi-taskers and groups. Students self-regulate their volume and behavior and manage their own learning. A cutting-edge Automatic Storage and Retrieval System can house up to 600,000 volumes that can be retrieved in under a minute, freeing up the library footprint for the visionary program and an added 1,500 user seats.
The green-roofed building takes advantage of high-performance engineering, natural light, and discriminating site placement to achieve a LEED Platinum status.