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New Digital Learning Commons at Rutgers supports doctoral programs in over 16 disciplines

School Construction

New Digital Learning Commons at Rutgers supports doctoral programs in over 16 disciplines

Includes spacious areas for group meetings, research, project development, and study sessions.

By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | May 11, 2022
Rutgers Library
Mike Van Tassell, courtesy Spiezle Architectural Group.

The new Digital Learning Commons at the Rutgers University Archibald S. Alexander Library provides students in over 16 courses of study and four professional schools with spacious collaborative and study space. Designed by Spiezle Architectural Group, Inc., the commons is part of the oldest and largest of the New Brunswick campus libraries.

The library is the main social sciences and humanities center of study and is also home to Special Collections, University Archives, and the East Asian Library. With full accessibility, the library’s modernization project includes an open concept approach providing a welcoming atmosphere and spacious areas for group meetings, research, project development, and study sessions.

The color palette highlights the open concept design with bright tones that complement the natural light streaming in from windows. The redesign also incorporates adaptable furniture, sound barriers, and a variety of seating zones designated for either silent study or active task work.

“Our design vision focused on creating an open and inviting environment that integrated a variety of technology and services, while at the same time capitalizing on the existing physical qualities of the space—which included high ceilings, dynamic views, and natural light,” said John Wright, principal, Higher Education at Spiezle, in a news release. “Improving the student experience was at the forefront of every decision. Now more than ever, it is crucial to create responsive and adaptable learning spaces, focused on student and faculty wellbeing, that support and promote the diverse offerings that truly define the Rutgers experience.”

“The Digital Learning Commons have already become a feature destination standout on the College Avenue campus, and will inspire social and educational advancement for decades to come,” Wright added.

Building Team:

Owner and/or developer: Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
Design architect: Spiezle Architectural Group, Inc.
Architect of record: Spiezle Architectural Group, Inc.
MEP engineer: Schiller and Hersh Associates
Structural engineer: Harrison-Hamnett, PC
General contractor/construction manager: Unity Construction Services

Rutgers Int
Courtesy Mike Van Tassell, courtesy Spiezle Architectural Group.
Rutgers Int 2
Courtesy Mike Van Tassell, courtesy Spiezle Architectural Group.


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