New library houses the largest collection of volumes in Central California
The new Henry Madden Library on the campus of Fresno State University has a total of five levels (76,200 sq m addition / 27,736 sq m renovation) and houses the largest collection of volumes of any California State University. The project is a metaphorical journey towards knowledge. The large elliptical tower serves as the building's iconic entry; visually simple, yet internally complex. The tower's materials are woven together, echoing the native basketry of The Table Mountain Ranchers, who consider baskets 'containers of knowledge'.
The internal circulation is organised around a series of stairs and landings with the main stair traversing the entire northern wall and guiding the visitor through the heart of the library. The library's transparent northern elevation is adjacent to the Peace Garden, allowing for the natural beauty of the gardens to spill into the building. Historic Native American patterns are echoed throughout the interior and in the decor of the library.
The new Madden Library will provide more than just a learning experience for students, faculty and the Fresno community; it will be a destination containing a variety of special spaces. One special space is the large translucent sculpture at the library's entrance which creates a strong exterior image and defines the library's source of organisation. Other features include a cafe on the second level and a rooftop terrace adjacent to University administrative offices.
Although the library has primarily open floor-plans, there will be a variety of seating areas including comfortable places tucked away where patrons can retreat for quiet reading and studying. Extensive use of natural daylight, in addition to limited natural ventilation and the use of recycled products during construction will result in a highly sustainable building. The new library will be a powerful resource for the University and the surrounding Fresno community. It will be a memorable landmark that informs the campus plan and shapes the future of the university.