Engaging Passion, Inspiring Discovery

University of Pittsburgh, Hillman Library

To Project Types

Pittsburgh, PA | 230,000 SF

Over four phases, the library of the future comes to life at the University of Pittsburgh.
Phase one of four now complete (above) of the Hillman Library transformation

Two blocks from its landmark Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh’s Hillman Library is quietly preparing for a bold transformation, one designed to engage students by putting services and options on full display. Strategically rolling out over four phases, the reimagined library will establish an inviting space that welcomes everyone, from first generation college students to those researching a graduate thesis. Making new friends and finding a niche can be challenging—shared interests make those connections easier. Decompartmentalized, visible spaces allow students to survey everything the Library has to offer. From there, they can choose their path, follow their passions, unlock hidden talents, and engage peers at the writing center, bookbinding lab, or video production suite. The Data Visualization Lab is a place to combine seemingly disparate research to find new outcomes.

Rendering of future renovation phase to be complete 2020.

A new glass entry captures views of the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning, a landmark at the heart of this urban campus. The entry invites students to explore, brings in natural light, and provides views to the street. A new café will help activate the library terrace, giving students and staff an outdoor oasis. Inside, staff space and circulating materials are designed to be visible and an open stair allows students to access digital, analog, and special collections as well as the library’s book binding lab. Beginning in July 2017, the renovation takes place over four phases to give students and faculty access to the library throughout construction.

The new Hillman Library also gives students choices that suit their needs and learning styles. In addition to audio/video suites, individual study rooms accommodate focused, quiet work and nearly 100 enclosed group study rooms are equipped with modern technology . The Library’s extensive special collections of artwork, personal papers, manuscripts and photos will also be featured in interactive displays throughout the space. Construction began in July 2017 and will strategically roll out over the next five years to give students and faculty access to the library throughout the transformation.

Phase one of the renovation gives students daylit spaces to work.