May 10, 1999

Middlebury College Selects Architect for Library Project -- New York Firm of Gwathmey Siegel to Design New Facility

The Middlebury College board of trustees has voted to engage the architectural firm of Gwathmey Siegel and Associates of New York City to design the expanded Starr Library. The firm was selected following a presentation that took place on Friday, May 7 during a meeting of the board on campus.

Gwathmey Siegel's conceptual plan for the expansion of Starr Library is to retain the original 1900 library building and the 1927 additions. Most of the rest of the current building will be demolished and replaced with a semicircular structure to be located behind and beside the older sections of Starr. The new building, which will be architecturally consistent with the other buildings on the historic front quad of the Middlebury campus, will provide for efficient and flexible space that will serve the College's library needs well into the next century.

While the expanded Starr Library is under construction, library operations will be housed in the current science center, which will be renovated this fall for library use following the move of the science faculty and their equipment to Bicentennial Hall. The temporary library facility will be ready for occupancy in May 2000. Construction on the new Starr Library will begin during the summer of 2000, with completion anticipated in June 2002.

Plans for the new library accommodate the increasing use of technology to enhance teaching and research in the academic library environment, while permitting sufficient expansion space to house the College's ever-growing collection of printed materials. Plans also call for increased library seating to accommodate the planned growth in the student body. Group study areas and meeting rooms will offer the opportunity for interactive and collaborative learning.

Charles Gwathmey and Robert Siegel have practiced architecture together for more than three decades. Their award-winning firm has extensive experience on college and university campuses, with projects at Cornell, Harvard, and Princeton, among other institutions. Their Science, Industry, and Business Library in New York City, a unit of the New York Public Library, is considered by many to be the best example of a 21st-century library now in operation.

Gwathmey Siegel has also been commissioned to design the new United States Mission to the United Nations, and recently completed the addition to Frank Lloyd Wright's Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum-both in New York City.