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Georgia Tech reopens updated library with ‘inspirational’ spaces

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The refurbished tower completes phase one of the school’s Library Next project

Large atrium with hanging light fixtures and students at tables.
Georgia Tech’s updated library shines brighter than ever before.
Library Next/Georgia Tech

After three years, Georgia Tech Library has finally reopened in Crosland Tower, an eight-story complex with archives, classrooms, and study and studio space.

Built in 1968, Crosland Tower originally sported a brick façade, seven-foot-high, reinforced floors, and little to no sunlight inside. Today, everything has changed.

Gone are the bricks, replaced with multi-floor atriums, glass windows, and lots of wood finishes, from stairs to walls to desks. The midcentury-modern architecture reflects that of the college’s Price Gilbert Memorial Library, now under renovation as the next phase of the Library Next project continues.

With architectural firms BNIM and Praxis3 heading the project, the library now encompasses a number of energy-efficient technologies to further modernize the facility. These include chilled beams for cooling and LED lighting throughout.

And those many books? They’ve been relocated offsite into preservation quality storage at the Library Service Center located on Emory University’s Briarcliff property. Students and faculty can still access the materials, which will be delivered within 24 hours upon request.

In their place, students and faculty will find spaces and technology for data visualization, high-performance computing, multimedia studies, collaboration, and iterative design.

Once the entire Library Next project is complete, Georgia Tech’s goal is to have the model research library of the 21st century: connected, responsive to sea changes in student and faculty academic needs, and dedicated to the stewardship of analog information in a digital age, per a school press release.

If all goes according to plan, the school will be one step closer to that goal when the renovation of the Price Gilbert Memorial Library wraps in 2020.