Completed in 2001, Lied Library has become the icon of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus. The library serves as one of the most technologically advanced libraries in the country, containing a computer-aided book retrieval system known as A.S.R.S. that holds up to 1.2 million books. This system for storing and retrieving books compresses 300,000 square feet of typical stack space into a 35-foot tall volume that utilizes only 4,800 square feet of floor space. The library also has open stack space for an additional 800,000 volumes, 2,500 reader stations, a 24-hour study lounge, and an “Information Commons” that houses over 100 computer stations.
The university requested that the library be both a social and educational hub for the campus. To achieve this, Pugsley. Simpson. Coulter. Architects interviewed students regarding their vision for the library and developed a program that responded to their aspirations. As a result, Lied Library houses nontraditional library functions such as classrooms, a student café, ample gathering space, an art gallery, and a 24-hour student lounge. In addition to satisfying student needs, Pugsley. Simpson. Coulter. Architects worked closely with UNLV Facilities to develop a design that met all of the site’s pragmatic criteria: pedestrian circulation, vehicular circulation, facilities cart circulation, utilities tie-in and coordination, and parking impacts. Working in tandem with UNLV, the project is now a success and has become the center of campus, physically, socially and iconographically. As such, Lied Library has won the following awards:
Honor Award – American Institute of Architects, Nevada
International Merit Award – Council of Educational Facility Planners
Louis Kahn Award – American School and University Magazine