Originally built in the 1960s, the Charles E. Young Research Library has been a staple for many students at UCLA. The library recent received an well-deserved facelift, undergoing numerous landmark renovations. Led by Perkins+Will, the library's renovations focused in on significant improvements across the board, including energy efficiency, technology, functionality and use of space. The LEED Gold targeted overhaul brought more natural daylight into the space, improved the study areas, increased collaborative work spaces, and made the library more flexible for the future modifications.
UCLA’s Charles E. Young Library was originally designed by A. Quincy Jones and Frederick E. Emmons in the 60s, but after the turn of the century had become outdated. Rather than tearing it down and building a new one, the university decided to renovate the structure, tasking Perkins+Will to ensure its usefulness in the future.
“Guided by the themes of discovery, journey and collaboration, we developed these new spaces to support pedagogy and research both now and into the future,” said UCLA University Librarian Gary E. Strong in a press release. “Academic research libraries are no longer defined by their physical collections, and this redesign reshapes our collection access, services, and facilities to support our users throughout their academic and professional careers.”
In accordance with University of California policy, the renovations adhered to green building principles established by the USGBC and the renovation is expected to receive a LEED Gold certification for Commercial Interiors 2.0. The renovation firstly improved the spaces within to create better private study areas, collaborative rooms, improve the technology and digital systems for the library’s use and improve the overall aesthetic to make the space feel more welcoming. Perkins+Will also opened up the building to fill the interior with more natural daylight and reduce potable water usage. The building receives most its energy via wind power, has 95% Energy Star compliant equipment, boasts a robust recycling program, and during construction it diverted 90% of its waste from landfills.
Since re-opening in the fall of 2011, the library has become much more popular and has seen twice as many visitors as the previous year, before the renovation.