We design the way libraries tell their stories

Shhh! doesn’t happen here. The new library at The Milstein Center at Barnard College is a far cry from when libraries were sterile buildings full of books and dreadful acoustics. This stunning teaching and learning center brings together technologies and learning spaces in an interactive setting that convenes students and faculty, facilitates collaboration, fosters dialogue and links departments and disciplines across campus. Its library brings together current technologies and learning spaces in interactive settings, and its seven centers offer students the opportunity to explore areas such as design, media, movement, empirical reasoning and computational science. With lots of glass, open spaces and technology intensive spaces, Cerami’s challenge was to assure that there was just the right balance of quiet areas from which to read and study, while also designing dramatic interactive AV systems in this dynamic building. IT systems were designed to support high performance computing for technology intensive spaces, with flexible configurations, and ubiquitous yet invisible wireless coverage.

Flexible classrooms were provisioned with large touch-enabled interactive presentation video screens. The Creativity Lab included very large format touch-interactive display, distance learning capability, and audio conferencing. CSC classrooms included large interactive videowalls with audio and video conferencing capabilities. The Creativity Lab includes the best in educational touch-interactive display, wireless video, and audio.

Signature Solution: Cerami designed a security system that blended into the new open aesthetic and philosophy, yet still makes a statement that Barnard is checking you out as you check out. To that end, Cerami found creative ways to make security equipment disappear into the décor.

We created a 3D model of the library to simulate sound levels, and tested it in our Immersive Studio, so that stakeholders could “listen” to the future space.

This year, Barnard received the AIS/ALA Library Building Award, the only award that recognizes library structures and all aspects of their design. We like knowing we are part of this story of what libraries represent in the 21st Century.