Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Library & Learning Center3700 Willow Creek Road
Design Achievement – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the only accredited Aviation University in the world. DLR Group's design of the Christine and Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Library and Learning Center embodies this prestigious institution's dedication to technological and academic advancement. The design concept for the library is a metaphor for flight. Composed of metal and glass, the building seems to hover above the ground. The library's main entry is defined by an internally illuminated staircase that evokes the technological underpinnings of aeronautical education. The staircase lifts students from the classrooms on the first floor to the resource center and commons on the second floor. The second level cantilevers in two directions; and with expanses of glass the space encourages informal learning surrounded by views of the horizon.
Scope Summary – Designed as a 32,000 SF, 2-story structure, upper floor access is gained from the top of the hill, while the main floor is entered from the foot of the slope, near the student commons. Proper solar orientation introduces controlled daylight into the library creating a wonderfully positive study environment. A north-facing window wall allows daylight into the interior and a glimpse into the life of the library for evening passers-by. The interior incorporates a glass entrance feature to define circulation in a dramatic way. The book stacks stand in formation over black, tarmac-like flooring with lighting reminiscent of a runway. Playful furnishings keep this facility from becoming too heavy-handed in technology or aviation, welcoming students and visitors to sit and study, contemplate and collaborate while they explore information at their fingertips. DLR Group provided architecture design services for the library.