May 26, 2022

Temple University Shares Some Design Plans for New Library, Part of New Academic Commons

From Temple University:

That structure is being designed by Snøhetta, an architectural firm renowned for its innovative library designs, in partnership with a Philadelphia-based design firm, Stantec. Though many details about its design have yet to be finalized, Snøhetta presented renderings of the building’s exterior to the Temple University Board of Trustees Facilities Committee Monday, Dec. 8. The rendering pictured here communicates the library’s grand scale, beauty and leading role in redefining Main Campus.

Current plans outline a library with more than 210,000 square feet occupying a space approximately the size of a city block. It will be bounded by Polett Walk to the south, Liacouras Walk to the west, Norris Street to the north and eventually, the quad to the east. Snøhetta’s rendering shows dramatic arched entrances and hints at a vegetated “green roof,” as well as a large, upper-level outdoor balcony space that will offer views of campus.


Source: Temple University

Joseph P. Lucia, dean of university libraries at Temple, said the library will have a “highly varied ecosystem” of spaces, including those devoted to activities traditionally associated with libraries, such as quiet study and reading, and spaces for group activities, special events and technology-mediated activities from data visualization to 3-D printing.

“Librarians are often asked why, in a world of digital information, physical libraries still matter,” Lucia said. “Libraries have never really been merely about the stuff they house; they have always been about inspiration. They are environments designed to connect people to ideas and call communities together for creative engagement with the life of the mind and the imagination. A great university will always need that kind of space—perhaps now more than ever.”

Construction of the library is estimated to begin in late 2015 and be completed in late 2018.

See Also: Temple unveils plans for block-long library (via

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.