The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library will reopen its iconic building on Tuesday, September 6th, following a 16-month renovation that upgraded the library’s climate-control system, expanded its classroom space, and restored the architectural landmark to its original luster.
“We are excited to welcome back researchers and visitors to the library — an architectural masterpiece that has been adapted to meet challenges created by an ever expanding collection, changing technology, and the evolving nature of the library’s mission,” Beinecke Library Director Edwin “E.C.” Schroeder said. “The renovation ensures that the Beinecke Library will remain a world-class center for teaching, research, and scholarship for decades to come.”
The building’s architectural features — its exterior grid of granite and Vermont marble panels, six-story glass stack tower, and sculpture garden by sculptor Isamu Noguchi — have been refurbished to fully preserve architect Gordon Bunshaft’s modernist masterpiece, which opened in October 1963. Chicago-based HBRA Architects led the design work. New Haven-based Newman Architects was also heavily involved in the project.
The bulk of the comprehensive renovation project concerned replacing the library’s mechanical infrastructure — its plumbing, electrical, heating, and cooling systems — much of which was original to the building. Machinery in the building’s sub-basement, including room-sized air handlers and chillers, was replaced with state-of-the-art equipment. The building’s security and fire-suppression systems were also upgraded.
The project doubled the number of classrooms in the library from two to four. One of the new classrooms will function as a lab space in which students will have the ability to study the physical structures of books and experiment with inks, papermaking, and printing.
Read more in this YaleNews article.