Olin College Library Circulation Desk
Design, Fabrication, Interior Architecture
The Olin College Library is transforming from a reference and circulation-based institution into a flexible space based on bringing the different communities at Olin together.
The circulation desk project was the Library's first opportunity to manifest their new mission in a piece of permanent infrastructure for their space.
We were interested in creating an eye-catching success story for the Library. Something visually appealing, that could pave the way for continued experimentation in the space by administrators and students alike.
It was important for the desk to feel accessible and open to students. We located library-wide supplies and stationary in a surface behind the main desk to encourage students to step behind the desk and break the conceptual barrier between the library and its constituency.
The Olin College Library lends tools as well as books. A return shelf – rather than a slot – allows them to accomodate returns of larger objects and builds transparency into the circulation process.
We don't tend glamorize the fabrication process. But, the complexity and novelty of the fabrication for the circulation desk demanded a special approach. A hard copy of our construction documents hangs on a wall across from the desk in the Library, adding a pedagogical component to students' experience of the space.