The library at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis is home to one of the top theological libraries in the United States. A collection of more than 270,000 volumes including 6,000 + volumes within their rare book collection. Campus modernization and an increasing need to update the library facilities were the catalyst for the renovation project. Arcturis was selected to lead the Interior Design effort and their Graphic Design team was brought in to create an expansion of the brand identity and experience.
Project goals were to expand library services and create a new campus hub for community and collaboration. Working in tandem with the architect of record and the library leadership team, the interior design responded to the goal to create a state-of the art learning center with an aesthetic that was also supportive of the original 1962 building and its most impressive features.
A new circulation desk positioned in the atrium's center addresses visitors from both the campus and quad entries while providing clear access to information and library services. The Graphic Design team carefully matched the mid-century typography that was preserved in atrium text and plaques and incorporated it into the library’s new name as seen on the circulation desk.
A variety of new spaces including a coffee bar, tutorial stations, and several reading lounges were added to the building. Individual PhD candidate offices, computer workstations on the main and 2nd floor provide areas for study and research. Additional classrooms with updated technology were located on the lower and 2nd floors. Workplace improvement strategies that addressed task and space use were applied to the new staff and support spaces. Similar thinking was also used to organize the spaces within the main library to control sound and give cues for private vs collaborative zones.
The graphic design team created unique illustrations for environmental graphics that are located in each classroom, featuring design elements based on buildings original decorative wrought iron window screens. Extra attention was also given to the existing Concordia Seminary logo and minor adjustments were made to enhance its clarity and legibility throughout the space.
The custom wood wall graphic installation depicting the phrase ‘Light From Above’ is not only significant to the Lutheran faith, but also gives a nod to the reworking of the building skylight, a central element to the construction project.
Photographer | Matt McFarland