Hunt Library: A state-of-the-art library

 

James B. Hunt Library is a state-of-the-art library located in North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus. The design of the library was done in collaboration by Clark Nexen and Snohetta, a Norwegian design firm. Hunt library is one of the few (if not only) NCSU building that does not use the iconic and ubiquitous NC red brick, instead utilizing steel structures, exterior metal cladding, and a generous amount of curtain walls. This design move externally communicates the modern, high tech elements of the interior. When you enter the library through the Partner’s Way entrance, you are greeted by a touch screen Kiosk that gives you access to Maps as well as other relevant information, making the library easy to navigate for visitors who may be unfamiliar with the building. 

Next to the Kiosk is a yellow stair that catches your eye almost immediately, drawing your eyes up to the main level. The Book Bot room is located in this same area, where visitors can look through large windows into the Book Bot room to see it in action. The intention behind the placement and treatment of these programs is certainly to “show off” NCSU’s high-tech elements to visitors before they make their way up to the main level, raising their anticipation for what is to come next. 

Once they go through the gates, visitors walk into an expansive and well-lit double height space. The polished white terrazzo floor  and white ceiling reflects interior and external light, helping the space remain bright, which is a feature crucial for libraries and educational settings. Another yellow stair takes you up to the learning commons. Here you might realize that the main circulation elements in the library are all yellow, helping you navigate the space more easily and reducing the chances of you becoming lost in the building (you can simply look for the yellow staircases and follow it down to reach the main spaces.) 

 

The library has a variety of designer furniture located throughout the building. The not only furniture add to the visual aesthetics of the spaces, but also offers a plethora of choices for students in terms of where and how they want to use these spaces. 

Something I would change about the Hunt Library is the choice of material on the third level. The floor is carpeted in a dark color, which makes the space seem darker than other spaces in the library. Maybe a bright colored carpet or a terrazzo floor would have made the space more enjoyable.