First opened in 1965, Sewanee / The University of the South’s 120,000 SF duPont Library was built in the original Gothic architectural style of the 1850s campus in Sewanee, TN. The library has been and continues to be the academic heart of the campus but lacked necessary infrastructure and collaborative spaces commensurate with 21st-century academic learning environments. McMillan Pazdan Smith was commissioned by the University to develop a Master Plan for the entire library to guide its evolution.
When donor funding became available, the Learning Commons became the first phase of renovation work. To allow students to study and practice in a variety of settings, the renovated space includes individual technology stations, group study rooms, and a presentation preparation and rehearsal area. The Writing Center, located in the former periodical room, provides tutors a designated workplace. The project includes a new cafe, offering a variety of fresh snacks, sandwiches, and beverages during library hours.
Occupying a space immediately adjacent to the library’s main entrance, the tall open volume features dark wood tones and a carpeted blue floor. Glass marker boards separate the group study rooms from the research computer desks, while modern-style chandeliers provide gentle illumination above the entire area.