Cutaway View of Renovated Main Library Shows Vision for Future

By Amber Lautigar Reichert | November 14, 2018

The renovated space includes flexible areas for individual and group study and research throughout the building, as well as new elevators, bathrooms, and stairwells, and all-new mechanical infrastructure.

Cutaway view of the renovated main library
Section perspective from west, looking east towards the Rotunda. HBRA Architects with Clark Nexsen, October 22, 2018. 


Mechanical rooms and building storage will be located on the basement level, as will compact shelving and processing areas for Rare Books School and Library and Flowerdew Hundred closed collections.

First Floor

The first floor will contain the book drop, receiving and sorting areas, and the heart of the collections management functions, including a staff-only connector to Clemons Library. It will also contain open stacks shelving for general collections, and house government documents and the Library’s Tibetan collection, along with a variety of flexible study spaces.

Second Floor

The Library’s preservation and conservation labs will be located on the second floor, as will the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia and Rare Book School. A pair of new north entrances off of exterior terrace space will lead into a large study lounge with a service desk. The café will be on this level, as will the ground floor of two study courtyards under a skylight. The McGregor Room, Lamsam Room, Weinstein Library, and Stettinius Gallery will remain here, and new exhibition space will be added outside of Rare Book School. The Stettinius Gallery will connect the library to Clemons with a new passageway for library users.

Third Floor

The Digital Humanities presence — the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH), and the Scholars’ Lab (including their makerspace) — will be on this level, as will the Scholarly Communications, Assessment, and Project Management units. The Taylor and Mount Vernon conference rooms as well as the Garnett Room and the Graduate Student Lounge will also be here. The floor will also contain a large library instruction room as well as study and research space and compact shelving for general collections.

Fourth Floor

An expanded south entrance will lead into the main lobby, complete with service desk and seating areas. The Reference Room will remain as a reading room on this floor, and a large north reading room will be added. This level will contain the primary room for instruction, as well as general collections on static shelving interspersed with flexible study space. Also located on this floor will be the subject liaisons and Public Services staff.

Fifth Floor

The fifth floor will contain general collections on static shelving and flexible study space. Above the fifth floor, a clerestory will admit natural light into the building. The Office of the University Librarian, and the IT, Advancement, Finance, and Communications departments will also be on this level.

View floor plan documents (PDF) or read more about the renovation.