CAUSE FOR A PAUSE: The $60 million,
85,000 square-foot Frank Ghery designed science library will surely
turn heads. The library, which will combine the book collections
from several campus libraries, will also include study space,
classrooms, and a cafe.end
Receives Approval for Gehry Library
The Site Plan Review Advisory Board (SPRAB) gave
its support to Princeton University's plan to build a new science
library and academic center near the corner of Washington Road
and Ivy Lane.
The library, which was designed by Pritzker
Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry, will house the book collection
currently located in the geology library in Guyot Hall across
the street to the proposed library. It will then combine the book
collections of the chemistry department and other science libraries.
The support allows the University plan to appear before the Regional
Planning Board for further review.
The site plan review
comes only two weeks after the University appeared before the
Regional Planning Board to outline its plans for the construction
of Whitman College, a 500-student residence hall. The new library
will help accommodate the University's planned undergraduate influx
of 500 students by the fall of 2009.
While Whitman College
and other structures on the residential part of campus feature
an architectural style known as Collegiate Gothic, the proposed
science library falls into the realm of modern architecture, such
as that seen at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International
Affairs. The library will exhibit Mr. Gehry's style through the
use of steel, brick, and glass.
"It's the library of
the future," said Jon Hlafter, vice-president of the Office
of Physical Planning at the University.
Mr. Hlafter went
on to say that the new $60 million, 85,000 square-foot structure
will also include study space, classrooms, and a cafe.
library will also house the University's science collections and
will feature digitized maps on file.
Mr. Hlafter said no
additional faculty or staff will be added as a result of the new
library. Instead, current faculty and staff members will relocate
to the new facility.
The issue of parking and traffic circulation
quickly made its way to the forefront of the site plan review.
Members of SPRAB voiced concern regarding the attraction such
a structure would present to those interested in the architecture
and overall novel existence of the building.
Murdock spoke of traffic bottlenecks that might be caused by the
allure of the new building.
Mr. Hlafter said that while
the library would be a draw for visitors to the University, he
did not foresee a scenario where such an attraction would cause
a serious traffic issue in the area. He outlined the plan for
a shuttle system that will bring students and visitors to and
from the main campus. He also said that ample visitor parking
would be available in Lot 21, adjacent to Jadwin Gym.
will be 'no parking' signs along Ivy Lane, and indications that
parking is available in Lot 21," Mr. Hlafter said. He also
cited the existing University policy that requires graduates students
with housing assignments at the Lawrence Apartments, Butler Tract
Housing, and the Graduate College to use the shuttle system and
not their personal cars.
"I say with great confidence
that the people in the new building will be parking in [Lot 21],"
Members of SPRAB expressed concern regarding Ivy
Lane's capacity to handle traffic for the new facility, and the
amount of drive-by traffic the structure will attract because
of its unique design and architecture. But Mr. Hlafter again referred
to Lot 21 and that visitors will be parking at that location and
not along Ivy Lane.
Borough Engineer Carl Peters said he
felt there is a need for improved pedestrian and cyclist access
from the main campus across Washington Road. While Mr. Hlafter
acknowledged that there would be new foot traffic by virtue of
there being a new facility, he said that shuttle transportation
would be sufficient in handling the problem.
addressed the potential for hazardous sun glare from the library's
stainless steel's exterior. Larry Tighe ensured the Board that
the steel used would not have a mirror finish and would be dull
enough not to visually impair drivers. Mr. Tighe compared the
grade of steel to that used in the Frist Campus Center.
new science library is, in part, a result of a $60 million donation
by Peter Lewis, class of 1955 and a University trustee. The donation
was made in late 2001 and the project has been in planning since
that time. Mr. Lewis is chairman of the board of the Progressive
Corp., one of the country's largest auto insurers. Mr. Lewis also
chairs the board of trustees of the Guggenheim Foundation in New
York. He crossed paths with Mr. Gehry when the architect worked
with the Guggenheim on its design for its museum in Bilbao, Spain,