University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA
Root Bridge & Green Roof

The new Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library was completed in fall 2004, after three years of construction, The building is located on central Grounds between Alderman Library and Peabody Hall, facing McCormick Road. The Small Library, 58,000 square feet in two floors underground, features state-of-the-art climate control and security for the University’s special collections; a unique resource of 12 million manuscripts; 300,000 rare books; 4,000 maps; plus photographs, University archives and other treasures. The library features a stunning new reading room, skylights and comfortable seating. The collections themselves will be retrieved from 12.82 miles of shelving in 146 electronically controlled units on the first floor. (This floor is not open to the public).

Above the library at ground level, the University Landscape Architect’s office and a world-renowned design firm - Oehme, van Sweden and Associates - have created a dramatic but accessible new public space. Benches, trees, and a broad array of plants were installed to provide a beautiful place for continued reading, learning and discourse among faculty, students and the community.