Bringing More Natural Light into W. W. Hagerty Library

Bringing More Natural Light into W. W. Hagerty Library
Jenny James Lee
October 6, 2014

Natural light positively affects learning. Since the 1990s research supports the benefits of light on concentration, productivity and designs of schools and other learning environments. More recently this spring Drexel students identified natural light among the important factors in campus learning spaces they selected as desirable learning environments. Data collected on current use of the W.W. Hagerty Library confirm the successful forethought of its original designers to place two light wells [the atrium] within the building and also to provide a wall of light in the lower level—seats in proximity to natural light are heavily occupied and very popular.

With this in mind, the University engaged Purdy O’Gwynn Architects, Inc. to design a dynamic new learning environment with added seats on the second floor of the W. W. Hagerty Library. In early September, they began work with dean of libraries, Danuta A. Nitecki and University Facilities with the goal of bringing more natural light into the building and echoing the University’s master plan to bring the University to the street. The north side of the library is currently occupied with staff spaces and the proposed renovation will transform walls to bring more natural light into the building and provide views of illuminated library activities from Market Street.

In coming months, details about the renovation’s design and library services will be posted on the Libraries website.