Past excellence fosters progressive growth
The United States Military Academy at West Point, the nation's oldest service academy, is proudly opening the doors of its state-of-the-art new library and learning centre in the lower Hudson Valley campus, New York.
Thomas Jefferson Hall Library and Learning Center was built to meet the growing educational needs of the 4,400 cadets plus faculty. By bringing together the Cadet Library, the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Center for Enhanced Performance, the facility provides for a highly responsive learning “platform” for future growth.
STV and Holzman Moss Architecture had the onerous and prestigious task of designing and planning the 141,000 sq ft facility to sit in the central area of the campus where nothing new had been built since 1972.
The Center is a six-storey granite and glass building divided into three masses with step-backs advancing West Point’s 19th century Military Gothic style into the 21st century, bringing a new architectural vocabulary into harmony with the historic campus. 1,586 tons of granite clad the entire building. Hand-tooled stone block, mined from the same quarry as adjacent structures clad the two end towers, and design details such as sandstone window surrounds, a three-dimensional West Point arch at the main entry, and double-height windows echo similar features found in neighbouring buildings Bertram Goodhue, Ralph Adam Cram, and Paul Cret. Centered between the towers is a full-height curtain wall comprised of blast-resistant glass and precast concrete mullions, which frames unparalleled views of the campus, bluff, and river beyond.
The interior colour palette was chosen to complement the uniform of the Corps of Cadets, as was the representation of stripes and chevrons in fixtures and finishes. Graphic abstractions of military medals, seals and inscriptions enliven carpeting, light fixtures, and terrazzo floors.