UVA Main Library

UVA Main Library

Charlottesville, Virginia
United States
UVA Main Library

TYLin provided structural engineering services for the renovation and modernization of the building that has served as the university's main library since its construction in 1937.

Although beloved by the university, the original building failed to meet modern library needs due to the two eras of book stacks taking up a sizable area and limiting the meeting group study spaces. 

TYLin closely collaborated with the design team, the university, and contractors to set appropriate criteria for the design phase, develop the complicated structural design of various materials and details, and react to challenges encountered during construction.

The project team removed both book stacks replaced these areas with a concrete addition of roughly the same footprint that houses new elevators and other core facilities. An accessible northern entrance features a terrace and leads into a spacious lobby. It is designed to accommodate the loads associated with high-density shelving. The addition created a new basement level that extends 15 feet below the original basement, resulting in significant underpinning of the original foundations. 

Large portions of the existing building were demolished, requiring an in-depth analysis and seismic upgrade of the lateral system (which was not explicitly designed as a lateral system due to the era of construction). The remainder of the existing library was rehabilitated and adapted while maintaining the character of many of the historic rooms. Two original courtyards were enclosed with new faceted skylights to create expansive study and meeting spaces.

Image credit: HBRA Architects

UVA Main Library

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