Walker Library, Owen Graduate School of Management

The project team at the Walker Library at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management was charged to re-imagine the research library within a tech-driven curriculum and to balance the allocation of space requirements as physical assets decreased with the arrival of digital collections. The challenge was to understand current and future needs for the collection that could be secured within an existing two-story space that requires 24/7 access, while providing space for research to support the academic culture.

Spaces that formerly belonged to the bound periodical collection; now accessible digitally; was reallocated to students in order to provide collaboration spaces. The new space required areas for individual quiet study, space for team projects, and the ability to present projects in a way that mirrors the corporate working environment all while providing a connection to the library’s physical resources and research faculty. Conference rooms had to be tech-driven, and transition to areas of quiet study. Open lounge areas needed to feel intimate yet spacious. Additionally, the client required the addition of a fireplace with the desire for fireside chats and larger presentations. As plugged in as the new space needed to be, the client desired to maintain an analog feel and have the library space reflect Vanderbilt’s academic legacy of collaboration.


Vanderbilt University


Nashville, Tennessee


12,000 SF


IIDA Best Overall 2019


Caroline Sharpneck
Other images by Vanderbilt University