Newly Redesigned Space in O’Kelly

As a new staff member of the Design and Construction Department, one of my first projects was to assist he Library staff with creating a renewed environment in the Library’s Lobby.  Mrs. Wanda Brown, Director of Library Services wanted the feel and use of the space to change in order to create an area more conducive for student use.  The idea was to create seating areas that could accommodate both individual students and groups that can work together while also providing ways to create interchangeable lounge/study environments. To accomplish this, a variety of seating types were selected including stools, banquets, lounge chairs and ottomans.

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When I initially walked through the library’s lobby, it was hard to miss the large mural paintings by North Carolina native, John Biggers, on either wall.  I wanted to draw even more attention to these paintings and use them as the inspiration for the fabric selections.  It was important to pull colors and the dominant presence of shapes from the paintings in choosing the fabrics. Once the initial fabrics were selected for he banquettes, other fabrics were chosen that would complement the banquets and add some life to the space.  The different types of seating were selected to provide various options to the users and to help create a space that is both comfortable and conducive to the way students study, collaborate and interact.

It was my charge to create an area that not only provides a new, vibrant life to the lobby, but also reinforces how college students study, rlelax and socialize. The goal was to provide an area within the library that is not required to accommodcate silent, individual studying, but that offers options for, collaboration, casual meetings among fellow students or just hanging out in a comfortable, inviting environment. I hope that as students return, they utilize the lobby in the way that was envisioned and this space becomes a popular area for student use.

Author: Staci Manter, WSSU Design & Construction

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