Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
UCLA Towell Library by Hodgetts + Fung
March 26th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Hodgetts + Fung
Our practice serves the needs of academic institutions in need of creative and often precedent-setting solutions to complex problems. Our Towell Library project on the UCLA campus marked the first application of a tensile fabric structure to the complex issues of this critical academic resource.
The design of the 36,000 square foot building was largely founded on observations of student life, which convinced us that it was important to maintain traditional library values in a \”temporary\” building, even if time and budget constraints placed the emphasis on \”practical\” issues. The firm was honored with the Award of Excellence from the American Institute of Architects and the American Library Association in 1994.
A unique attribute of H+F is our willingness to explore the relationship between technology and fabrication. We have worked directly with suppliers in the creation of large-scale structures and proprietary components in the interest of integrating our knowledge of industry innovations with cost-effective architectural frameworks.
Our best-known example of this approach is Towell Library at UCLA. This structure was conceived as a temporary home for its main undergraduate library during its seismic renovation. H+F grouped four tensile structures in varying geometric shapes connected by means of a fiberglass and metal panel system. The project has received a significant amount of attention for its roof system, which features brightly-colored fabric that has been stretched over custom-specified roof ribs. This \”temporary\” library, originally intended for a five-year use, is so popular that the university has expanded its life indifinitely and will be rotating additional programs into the structure.
Recently we completed construction on the Westwood Gateway to the UCLA Campus, the first phase of a major project for which we created the long term strategy. A 36,000 square-foot aluminum and fabric tensile structure for Towell Library also on the UCLA campus has just been dedicated and received a National AIA award for excellence.
With a completion date just nine months from the commencement of the UCLA Towell Library project required the invention of a novel construction system in order to meet severe cost and time constraints. The result was an educational resource that has been embraced by the campus body, not just for the way it serves its mission, but for its illumination of the existing campus order.
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