August 9, 2023

Rutgers University

Rutgers University faced a unique set of challenges when looking to transform the historic Archibald S. Alexander Library into a multifunctional digital library and study hub. The new space needed to incorporate state-of-the-art technology and modern study areas while preserving the architectural integrity and historical value of the building. The Alexander Library is the oldest library on the University’s campus and an iconic landmark lending its character to the College Avenue landscape.

The University’s vision extended beyond physical renovations; it sought to create an inclusive environment that fostered both collaborative and independent study and integrated advanced technology like video conferencing and digital presentation tools. This meant not only investing in cutting-edge technology but also ensuring the design promoted user well-being, accessibility, and functionality.

The design also needed to consider the different academic collections housed within the library while continuing to maintain a cohesive identity. Overall, the new space needed to strike a balance of honoring the past while propelling Rutgers University into the future.

BFI looked to transform the Alexander Library into a contemporary digital hub by tapping into their expansive product knowledge and access to over 250 manufacturers.

The team had to first overcome the existing 10″ thick concrete floor. The Spiezle Architectural Group came up with a flat wire system, which allowed for a unique approach to incorporate the necessary power facilities. BFI meticulously coordinated the positioning of power and data locations to match each furniture grouping.

With a deep commitment to detail, BFI’s approach to furnishing these study areas ensured the provision of power and data to a variety of spaces while concealing the wiring for a sleek look. They also incorporated under-desk power locations, student bag holders, and wire wraps in the sit-to-stand desks. This not only ensured functional efficiency but also catered to user comfort.

The renovation also includes a computer lab designed in a pinwheel configuration for collaborative learning, focused meeting rooms, one-on-one touchdown desks, audio booths, and a technologically advanced Pitch room for video conferencing and digital presentations.

Through BFI’s expertise, meticulous planning, and innovative design solutions, the new Digital Learning Commons emerged as a hub of innovation.

The Archibald S. Alexander Library is incredibly proud of its newly refurbished facility. Employees, students, and alumni of Rutgers University have commented on the beauty and functionality of the space.

The new digital commons has become an innovation hub on campus, with many students choosing to study and work in the library rather than in their dorms, at local coffee shops or WiFi hotspots.

  • Agati
  • AllSeating
  • Arcadia
  • Bernhardt
  • Byrne
  • Claridge
  • Dauphin
  • ECA
  • Egan
  • ERG International
  • ESI
  • Great Openings
  • Herman Miller
  • Hightower
  • Ideon
  • Keilhauer
  • KI
  • Koncept Lighting
  • Nevins
  • Spec Furniture
  • SOl
  • Source
  • Surfaceworks
  • Symmetry
  • Transformations
  • Versteel

We create environments that inspire exceptional work. Working with companies directly or with designers and architects, our expert team provides tailored solutions, meets deadlines and budgets, all while minimizing disruption.

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