Campus - 06.09.2021 - 00:00 

Renovations give library building a new look

The comprehensive renovation of the HSG library building, which has been in use for more than 30 years, has been completed in time for the start of the 2021 fall semester.

6 September 2021. Since its opening in 1989 and after more than 30 years of intensive use, the first major renovation work of the library began in 2019. In addition to various technical improvements, the building features a new look inside. Edeltraud Haas, head of the library for more than ten years, gives her insight into how the newly designed space will feel like and what members of the HSG community can look forward to.

The library team and real estate staff have had an exhausting summer. "It was partly like a swarm of bees - lots of workers, lots of HSG employees and lots of dust," Haas recalls. Construction and cleaning work have been in full swing for a while now to make sure that we were ready to welcome the students at the beginning of the semester, she says.

"Avenue" and multifunctional rooms

With the connection of the library building to the Learning Center, a so-called "avenue" will be created for the first time, linking the two learning spaces. With this avenue, multifunctional rooms can be accessed. The rooms can be reserved and allow for groups to meet there during the day and associations to hold meetings, for example. In the afternoon PC tutors and Writing Lab staff will be on site. The Avenue is also intended as a shortcut that will bring a lot of life and movement to the campus. Thanks to the arrival of the HSG store, the Writing Lab, the PC tutors, and student clubs, the Avenue will become a "neighborhood meeting place," Haas explains. How much "traffic" will actually be generated and whether the Avenue will also be used as the fastest way from the Learning Center to the cafeteria or down to the city is difficult to predict, she says, and depends on the acceptance of campus residents.

True to the original thinking of the 1989 library building's architect, Bruno Gerosa, "transparency" is at the heart of the renovations. The avenue is made almost entirely of glass and provides a view in all directions as well as of the Learning Center, making it possible to always have an overview of where things are. In addition, you can see how and where work is currently being done in the respective rooms.

More space and better room climate

The renovation has succeeded in fulfilling the students' wish to have additional workplaces during the main learning periods in January and June. The result of the renovation also contributes to the learning climate - with a renewed ventilation system, the glass pyramid roof with protection against UV radiation, an acoustic ceiling in the cafeteria, which has a sound-insulating function, as well as new furniture, newly laid carpet and white bookshelves, which bring additional brightness into the library. Haas is certain: "There will be a better indoor climate - before, it was often too hot or too cold. Where blankets and pillows helped out before the renovation, the building technology improvements will now cover individual heating needs.

Library services will change little. The library will remain the place to go for academic literature, as well as consultations and quiet workspaces. Added to their duties will be collaborations with neighbours newly located on the Avenue. "In this way, we can adapt to the needs of the students," she explains. "Because for many students, the library is very important in their daily lives and the library in a sense is the 'heart' of campus life both here and at every university." There are also new things for staff and the general public to discover, for passers-by, those interested in finding a quiet place to read or those on the way to visit the Mensa.

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