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Project Description:

The University of New Haven’s Peterson Library is a 3- story building located on main campus in the Maxcy Quad. Through the school's library, students, faculty, and staff have access to more than 270,000 books, digital/electronic resources, and U.S. government documents. The school's library is a neutral space which gives students a place where they can comfortably come to have a private place to study and get work done, or where they can meet with groups to collaborate on projects. There are several types of working conditions within the library, such as quiet places to study, spaces to work on group projects with your classmates, or areas to use the many online resources and reference materials that enable you instant access to the latest findings of leading thinkers and researchers. Library staff also have a small break room, several private offices, and open workspaces.


The Marvin K. Peterson Library is designed as a place to not only find content but to create it as well. The objective is to host a balanced environment for academic and social use, creating a space for knowledge exchange, interaction, or quiet contemplation. Through sustainable design practices, the library is transformed into a new and exciting environment without disrupting its functionality. The use of natural materials, earth toned colors, as well as other biophilic design attributes support the sustainable aspirations of the building. Major design solutions include improved space planning and increasing natural light into the space. This project contributes to the University of New Haven’s sustainability goals and follows their path on a community wide commitment to go green.

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Lower Level Group Study Pod

Upper Level Single Study Pod

Main Level Computer Stations

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Main Level Lounge

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Ottoman Seating

Upper Level Private Study Desk

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Work Chair

Individual Study Desk

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Primary Paint

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Carpet Tile

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Accent Paint

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Accent Paint

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Wood Feature Wall



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Carpet Tile

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Carpet Tile

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Vinyl Tile


Bubble Diagrams


Relationship Diagram

Relationship Diagram


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Lower Level Existing Conditions

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Main Level Existing Conditions

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Upper Level Existing Conditions

Library Trends Research

  • The first floor is prime real estate. Reserve this space for more public functions such as the commons, group study areas, collaboration zones, and library help and circulation areas.

  • Uses for academic programs often work better on upper floors of the building, away from public zones and prime areas.

  • Use the basement for archives and stacks in most cases. Archives and stacks may be able to utilize compact shelving systems that are better suited to slab-on-grade conditions due to there concentrated weights.

  • Consider what kind of security is needed for 24/7 spaces versus area that are only open during “regular” library hours. This may inform how to zone the library with respect to security.

  • Increase capacity without increasing space; prioritize favored workspaces.

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