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VCU Cabell Library

Richmond, Virginia
Virginia Commonwealth University
Design Architect: Shepley Bulfinch, Architect of Record: Moseley Architects
277,477 square feet

A makerspace, a reading porch, 1,500 new seats and loads of natural light. VCU’s transformed James Branch Cabell Library provides flexible workspace with 90% of its square footage devoted to study space and student use rather than housing books.

Work included phased renovations of occupied space on four floors. Renovations created a new Special Collections and Archives, staff and faculty offices, and an enlarged Starbucks Café. The addition contains the Circulation and Information Services Center; a collaborative, creative Makerspace lab; Innovative Media Studios, a multi-media laboratory with green screen capability and viewing/editing rooms; student work spaces with power and data connections; individual and group study areas; and a 300-seat presentation theater.

Clad in glass, metal panels and limestone, the building is registered with USGBC for sustainable design and construction.  The project won a 2016 Engineering News Record Mid-Atlantic Region "Best Project" award in the Higher Education/Research category. Projects were evaluated on the ability of the project team to overcome challenges, contribution to the industry and community, safety and construction and design quality.