Southern New Hampshire University Library & Learning Commons


Manchester, NH




50,000 SF


Southern New Hampshire University


Perry Dean Rogers


© Chuck Choi

From the beginning, the Edward S. Wolak library was conceived as a daylighted space. The tall expanses of vertical glazing in the main reading room offer sweeping views outside and ample daylight inside. The glass walls are protected by a warm wooden lid, serving as a portico and large-scale overhang to shield direct sun. On the west façade, there is an additional layer of vertical wooden fins to help block the low-setting sun. In the
center of the large two-story reading room is a sculptured laylight that diffuses daylight and balances the brightness from the abundant vertical sidelighting. Most of the electric lighting is integrated above the sculpted ceiling, tucked into coves, slots, and other architectural details, to supplement daylight when needed, and to make the building glow at night.

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