The Rare Book Wing to Friedsam Memorial Library opened in 2008. The state-of-the-art facility protects the university's stunning collection of rare books, described by the National Endowment for the Humanities as "a unique national asset of great value to American humanistic scholarship." The collection includes treasures gathered over more than a century.
The construction project included vault storage space as well as high-tech mechanical, electrical, security and fire suppression systems.
Green technologies incorporated into the project include using well-water to air condition the building.
The design of the addition complements both the original library and the 1970s addition with an assemblage of materials and textures.
The terra cotta roofing that for decades has helped distinguish the St. Bonaventure campus is incorporated into the design, with high-performance glass offering a way to safely open the reading rooms and common areas to beautiful southerly views and to integrate with the glass and brick of the 1970s addition.
The addition is set back from the main north facade, providing an outdoor contemplative garden area. At night, the glass walkway surrounding the inner building core is lighted.
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Rare Books Wing wins design award
History of Friedsam Memorial Library