Ekstrom Library has taken on massive renovations and a 50,000 sq ft addition since its opening in 1981 with 230,000 sq ft. Agati has been fortunate to work with Ekstrom Library for 20 years toward their goal of providing optimal opportunities of success for the students at University of Louisville.
We got a tour from Bruce Keisling, Associate Dean, and were blown away. We found ALL types of study options for students -from individual to group study furniture, each offering varying degrees of interaction with others and the environment. We found quiet, secluded nooks, and open, airy spaces with sweeping views of treetops. Bruce told us that they all get used, depending on what students are looking for.
A huge open space on the third floor is a bright, welcoming invitation to come and study! This space was made available when their collection was moved to a robotic retrieval system. They further enhanced the space by removing brick to open up a vast wall of windows. Inside, individual Study Pods serpentine together to demarcate traffic flow and provide focused study, while still connecting users to the larger community space. The pods are regularly chosen by students for study. I can’t think of a better manifestation of our innate human desire to be both connected to our environment and be cocooned than this stunning study space!
Nearby, Manifest Benching Tables give students who are looking to be somewhat connected, yet have independent work space, an opportunity to really spread out. The ample wrap-around table space gives students room to set up shop within frosted glass dividers. Students can visually focus on their space, but still look up for a clear view. The openness provides flexibility for students to also pull over a chair and work collaboratively. Modular clusters of three give a medium level of privacy for those who want to work alone, but not be alone.
Bruce Keisling, Associate Dean
Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville
Collaborative Tables provide shared workspace for people to collaborate together, or work independently while interacting with each other. Ekstrom Library strategically placed these group study tables in a medium traffic zone. Click here for more on study habits and optimal furniture layouts.
Ekstrom Library’s Myles Tables and DePaul Chairs are 20 years old, and still look beautiful. There’s nothing like solid wood and well-crafted furniture, to communicate quality and tradition! Similar to investing in one’s education, investing in durable furniture provides years of benefits in return.
Behind glass doors we find a Silent Reading Room. This space is ideal for students who need to absorb a lot of information on their own. Each studier gets their own desk in a distraction-free zone, with their backs to the common walkway, and a forward view of trees. They can really spread out with ample workspace on individual Brown Desks. For a single-user furniture solution, this offers the most work surface. Studiers selecting this type of study usually spend 2-3 hours in the same place. They can sit comfortably in Baja Arm Chairs with a sloping seat pan and formed back panels. With access to some resources in the custom bookshelves, this room is a fantastic resource for those focused on research.
The Group Study Lounge provides opportunities for students to meet, socialize, and get together to study. Near the main entrance, Hampton Banquette provides outward booths for touchdown seating in the common area. Inward booths with surround panels envelope the group for collaborative work. Circular tables naturally create a conversational setting. Our upright booth seating is optimized for supported posture while doing table-top work, while also feeling cushioned. In a high-traffic zone for many years, the Hampton still looks great and gives visitors a welcoming, inclusive and supported feeling!
Tried and true, these study carrels still look great after all these years! Classic Arts & Crafts style Myles Carrel and the Deco Roland Carrel give students that head down, side-vision-obscured focus opportunity that we all know. Ekstrom Library placed carrels in secluded, low traffic zones to really amp up feelings of privacy. Click here for our Practical Guide to Choosing the Right Furniture for Your Library depending on study styles.
Lounge chairs offer the comfort of a living room in a public environment. Reading chairs are used for both short stops and extended lounge periods because they’re just so inviting. The Gee Lounge soft-seating option supports relaxed posture. Students are connected to the social environment, whether reading independently or chatting with a friend. We noticed that students tend to move these around Ekstrom Library to suit their needs. It’s interesting, because they are substantial, heavy chairs. Probably craving the comfort of their living room chair, students push these together, and up against windows and desks to set up their own cozy spots.
Ekstrom Library has skillfully provided a range of study options for students. By investing in durable, quality furniture collections over the years, they can not only provide a range of study options today, but also an interactive history of furniture design! See Ekstrom’s installation gallery.
It was so gratifying for Joe Agati Sr. and I to see such a range of the years of Agati Furniture so well maintained and still useful today. We value quality furniture that lasts and can continue to serve users for years to come. Whether students pick individual or group study furniture, private or connected to surrounding environment space, traditional or contemporary styles, Ekstrom Library is providing a study atmosphere for success!
Want more of University of Louisville’s study solutions? See how their Law Library capitalized on the quiet alleys surrounding stacks, by lining the perimeter with Study Pods.