MacOdrum serves as the primary library for Carleton University and holds a highly visible place in the campus plan as one of the original buildings on the main Quad. Since opening in 1958 it has seen a number of piecemeal renovations. Diamond Schmitt Architects was retained to prepare a master plan for the redevelopment and to design and build the expansion and renewal for the Library.
The first stage of this work involved a detailed analysis of the existing facility, collections and services; and the development of a functional program for all library program and service spaces. This lead to the creation of a phased development plan to address future expansion and flexibility; improve service delivery; accommodate information technology and enhance the quality of the interior environment for users and staff.
The expansion of MacOdrum Library involved two additions on the west and east side and 34,700-square-feet of renovations to the existing interiors. One of the more transformative design interventions was the removal of the existing front façade – an aluminum frame with peephole windows. Expanses of glazing now enwrap the 20-foot extension bringing daylight deep into the core.
Innovative study features include a video gaming lab, a digital media centre with 3D printers, highly interactive study rooms with large touch-screen monitors and two treadmill desks where students can study and exercise at the same time. Group and graduate study rooms now total 46, up from 18 previously.