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Case History

Miriam B. and James J. Mulva Library, St. Norbert College De Pere, Wisconsin

Project Overview
In more than 100 years, St. Norbert College never had a dedicated library building. Library space was located within existing buildings with the latest housed in a remodeled dormitory. To stay competitive in the education marketplace, the college determined that students deserve a state-ofthe-art library that expands the colleges tradition of excellence. A new library often acts as a deciding factor for prospective students and faculty. The new Miriam B. and James J. Mulva Library provides an educational environment that is intellectually, spiritually and personally challenging. The design exemplifies new paradigms in libraries as learning spaces. It is interactive and collaborative, promoting group gathering and knowledge sharing. Each space within the library encourages creative thinking.

Original plans for the library included very traditional furniture. Then, Library Director Felice Maciejewski attended a CIC (Council for Independent Colleges) workshop and learned the importance of flexible furniture for todays students. New goals included plenty of flexible furniture and collaboration spaces for students, says Maciejewski. The building was already complete, so we tweaked the spaces and furniture to create collaborative opportunities. KI was instrumental in selection and arrangement of the furniture. KI responded to the challenge with a focus on new trends in learning, blending the social and academic aspects and shifting towards more interactive communication. Performa Senior Design Architect Michael Flynn says, The architecture set the tone of accessibility. The furniture complements that focus and really works in the spaces. Together they create a wonderful dynamic integration. Performa President Jeff Kanzelberger adds, With KIs help we were able to convey how the building was intended to be used. Instead of selecting library furniture to fit the function of the space, the planning committee selected furniture to fit the needs of the students and a new way of learning and thinking.

The architecture set the tone of accessibility. The furniture complements that focus and really works in the spaces. Together they create a wonderful dynamic integration. Performa Architect Michael Flynn

From an afterthought to the center of campus activity, the library evolved to integrate technological capabilities, while still providing flexibility and collaboration. With the building complete, there was the additional challenge to incorporate these intentions in existing spaces. KIs role included project consultation, vision sessions, space planning, furniture design and layout.

The result is a library that features a variety of gathering places for library patrons, more computer spaces, and 50 percent more materials storage. It offers a full range of 21st century technological capabilities from wireless internet access to meeting rooms equipped for multi-media. It now conveys an open, adaptive environment that is very flexible and accommodating. KI provided the flexible, attractive furniture that let it all happen. Theres a high metabolic rate in libraries today, says Kanzelberger. They keep changing. If new furnishings and building designs support that metabolism, thats the measure of success. Maciejewski agrees, Every single space is in use from the curriculum library to classrooms, group study areas and lounge areas. The whole place is just filled with people. The library has become the new center of the campus, says Flynn. Its a social hub that acts as a gateway between the gown (the campus) and the town.

Solutions and Spaces

The Mulva Library features a wide variety of spaces to meet the needs of students, faculty and staff. Most areas feature mobile furniture and all areas enable collaborative, interactive learning. In the Information Center, workstations support collaboration space for 2 or 3 students per computer monitor as well as individual computing. Casual lounge furniture has pull bars for easy movement and tablet arms to allow students to use their learning tools while in informal or group study settings. Spacesaver high-density shelving increases material storage capacity. The spiders work out perfectly for privacy and lots of workspace, says Maciejewski. The shelving is very easy to use. Shelving end-panels are even customized with a fleur-de-lis motif. In the Childrens Library, mobile tables with translucent screens can be placed in any arrangement. Users can move them into group study arrangements or isolate them for private study. The custom dividers offer a perfect blend of mobility and privacy, says Maciejewski. Eds Caf has a casual and interactive atmosphere. The furniture lets users choose varying table heights and seating styles. The caf is wonderful, says Maciejewski. You get that great coffee aroma and a variety of casual gathering places. Group study and seminar rooms feature different layouts to meet various student and faculty needs. Most spaces feature mobile furniture that can be rearranged to suit different presentation styles. You can adjust the height and roll the tables around, says Maciejewski. My favorite seating is reminiscent of a caf in Paris its warm and inviting, not sterile. Many of the offices include lounge furniture or tables with chairs for small meetings. Screens in the Writing Center are very functional, says Maciejewski. They allow reconfiguration of space. People are very drawn to the lounge chairs.

The caf is wonderful. You get that great coffee aroma and a variety of casual gathering places. Library Director, Felice Maciejewski

Product List

Cinturn Lounge Chairs Flex Tables Torsion on the Go! Chairs Trek Tables

Cody Lounge Chairs Inquire Tables Spacesaver Shelving Torsion on the Go! Chairs

CrossRoads Library Furniture Cody Lounge Chairs Inquire Tables StudioWorks System Torsion on the Go! Chairs Torsion Task Chairs

Cody Lounge Chairs DataLink MP Tables Spacesaver Shelving Torsion Task Chairs

Spacesaver Shelving

All Terrain Binder Tower Cody Lounge Chairs Inquire Tables Torsion on the Go! Chairs

Cody Lounge Chairs Cody Ottoman Torsion on the Go! Chairs

All Terrain Binder Tower All Terrain Tables Kurv Benches Torsion on the Go! Chairs

Cinturn Lounge Chairs CrossRoads Chairs Flex Tables Venue Table

Athens Tables Cody Lounge Chairs Xylon Chairs Versa Caf Stools

Aristotle Desking Impress Task Chair Versa Chair

All Terrain Screens Flex Tables Relax Lounge Chairs Torsion on the Go! Chairs Trek Tables WorkZone Desking

Athens Tables Cody Lounge Chairs Cody Ottomans Eden Multiple Seating Xylon Chairs

Cinturn Lounge Chairs Cody Lounge Chairs Cody Ottomans Flex Tables

Cover photo courtesy St. Norbert College KI and Furnishing Knowledge are registered trademarks of Krueger International, Inc. 2009 KI All Rights Reserved. Litho in USA. Code KI-00812/HC/LFC/IP/1209 Printed on FSC certified paper using only vegetable-based inks, including metallics. Please recycle.

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