Kevin O'Brien | Architect
view from main quad
view from northwest
automated book retrieval
level 1 plan
level 2 plan
level 5 plan
rendering view from the student union
SFSU J.Paul Leonard Library
San Francisco, CA
The existing structure of the Library on the campus of the San Francisco State University is a four and six story structure of precast concrete and concrete frame, built in three stages over the course of a half-century.
This new program for the main library is an ambitious new facility; a joint use building with the California State Library via the incorporation of the Sutro Library, a new state of the art automated library retrieval system, and a newly configured series of public, learning, and collaboration spaces throughout the facility. More than just an academic library; the new facility is a learning commons and central gathering place for the entire campus.
Located prominently on the main campus quad; the new J. Paul Leonard Library reinforces the overall campus masterplan. The angle of the new northern glass wall aligns with the proposed angle of the future pedestrian walk. A new entry on the south of the building will help revitalize the streetscape of Holloway. The architectural language of concrete and glass is consistent with the campus character of surrounding buildings, in particular the iconic adjacent student center.
By wrapping the existing facility with a transparent addition, the former introverted building is now activated with ground level transparency, exterior courtyard spaces, and public activity space that link the library to the vitality of the quad and the pedestrian circulation paths that surround the building. Sustainably conceived daylight control and skylights flood the previously dark internal spaces with natural light. The project has achieved LEED Gold status.
*While Design Principal with HMC Architects