Designed by Snøhetta, Temple University’s new Charles Library is defined by a solid base clad in vertical sections of Mesabi black granite in narrow 6-inch strips with a split-face finish and sawn reveals in a variety of dimensions. Anchoring a new social and academic hub on campus, the design was inspired by the academies of Greek antiquity.
The main enclosure system consists of granite on pre-cast concrete panels with integral thermal insulation. Two monumental glazing systems at the arched main entrances of the building are achieved with steel bar mullions of up to 40 feet. Some facade areas feature a stick-built curtain wall. Vertical louvers made of stone and stainless steel shade the glazed horizontal openings. At one entry, the granite panels are CNC milled into double-curved shapes and secured to custom precast concrete panels. While it is common to see large stone units within precast panels, this library’s use of much smaller stone elements minimized installation time and helped achieve the highly textured appearance desired by the architects.
Heintges provided curtain wall and building envelope consulting during all phases of design and construction.
Photography by Michael Grimm.
Image courtesy of Snøhetta.