Colorado College’s expanded and transformed Tutt Library is America’s largest carbon-neutral academic library. The library has been transformed into a colorful, dynamic facility, accommodating the requirements of a contemporary library and the college’s unique academic program.
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Designed during an era when libraries were primarily containers for books, the original building was intentionally introverted. Pfeiffer’s design of the new center turns this introversion inside-out, to better reflect the changing use of the library and the values of Colorado College. It is expressed through the device of a “ribbon”-referencing the geologic formations of the nearby Garden of the Gods realized in varying shades of red Swisspearl cladding cut into rhomboid-shaped panels. The ribbon engages the addition at the ground level of the library’s west façade and weaves around, over, and down the existing Tutt Library to create a dynamic dialogue between the old and the new. It traces a graphic, non-linear path through the new center that culminates in the added fourth-level reading area, from where there are sweeping views of Pikes Peak and the Colorado mountain range.
Garden terraces to the west reduce the building’s mass and reinforce the indoor/outdoor nature of the space and its physical connection to the Rocky Mountains, while also providing usable outdoor areas. In fact, all the public areas in the library are located on the west elevation to reinforce this connection and take advantage of the views.
The project is designed to achieve carbon neutral, net-zero sustainability. The college’s commitment to carbon neutrality determined many of the design decisions, such as the glazing placement.
NICE TO KNOW
Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Pfeiffer, Los Angeles, California, USA
Steve Lerum, Laguna Beach, California, USA
2016 – 2017
Read more – Swisspearl Architecture magazine
Find the whole story including an exclusive interview with the architects Ann Neeriemer and Stewart Gregory Swisspearl Architecture #28.Subscribe to our magazine to get the printed issue.