Cochran renovation recognized in ALA magazine

| September 3, 2015

Renovations to Mary Helen Cochran Library were completed last year.

American Libraries, the magazine of the American Library Association, has listed Mary Helen Cochran Library in its 2015 Library Design Showcase.

The showcase is billed as the magazine’s annual celebration of new and renovated libraries. According to the article, the selected projects are “shining examples of innovative architecture that address user needs in unique, interesting and effective ways.”

In addition to the newly constructed buildings among this year’s submissions, the article notes that renovated and repurposed spaces show “how today’s libraries are both conserving existing resources and adapting to economic realities.”

Cochran is an excellent example of the latter. The work completed in 2014 restores and emphasizes the original Ralph Adams Cram architecture while adding light-filled, technology-friendly spaces to work — and fantastic sightlines to the outdoors.

It is nice for Cochran Library to be featured so prominently, says John Jaffe, director of libraries and integrated information systems, noting that American Libraries has a circulation of more than 58,000.

“The positive reception of the addition and renovation to the historic Ralph Adams Cram-designed library is a tribute to the librarians, students, faculty, alumnae and board members who participated in creating such a welcoming and functional building,” Jaffe said.

“It is a true gem in the portfolio of VMDO Architects of Charlottesville. Their design, implementation and partnership with us and with Jamerson-Lewis Construction has created a facility that will enable the College to grow and flourish through the next 114 years.”

See more about the library renovation and expansion here.

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