CSNA Architects present concept for addition and renovation of Marcel Breuer Library
CSNA Architects' renovation of Marcel Breuer's master work - Alcuin Library - is combined with an addition designed with critical input from Breuer's project architect for the original building, Hamilton Pike Smith FAIA. The campus safeguards one of the largest collections of Breuer buildings, including his famous St. John's Abbey bell banner church.
The primary goal of the project was to minimise permanent intervention in the original Breuer architecture and introduce a new piece sympathetic to it, while accommodating current and anticipated trends in library science and pedagogy.
Architect at CSNA, Gregory M. Friesen, FAIA, explains: "It is perhaps unique today, to find institutions that safeguard Modern Architecture as valiantly as this one."
Both the original library and the addition to it underwent extensive energy modelling to identify the optimal balance between first- and life-cycle costs. Part of the electrical power will be provided by a campus photovoltaic array - the largest in the upper USA Midwest - and a full-sized wind turbine that is scheduled to be fully operational prior to completion of the project.