Brown University Sydney E. Frank Digital Studio

The new Digital Studio within Brown University’s Rockefeller Library is both a renovation and a "upgrade" of a traditional media library into a contemporary Digital Studio. The design creates an open space for interaction and group work, surrounded by glass faced rooms for specific activities including a maker space, seminar room, consultation room, and AV and recording rooms. The open flexible work spaces are equipped with custom fabricated rolling tables that nest to allow for the space to be reconfigured.

The new space promotes digital scholarship to foster extended engagements with technology and expand new methods of learning. Today, information can be accessed anywhere, which potentially undermines the need for conventional libraries. However, the Digital Studio asserts that the methods of access to information, as opposed to the breadth of accessible information, renders libraries essential to the learning process. The design transforms Rockefeller Library's existing Periodicals Room into a contemporary zone for collaboration, group learning and making.

The project included the redesign of the main circulation desk, which consists of a stone clad volume that contains all the circulation desk functions. The powder coated steel frame and travertine front have been detailed to relate to the travertine finishes of the original core. Minimalist detailing makes the desk travertine appear paper thin, while the relationship to the adjacent travertine wall suggest that the circulation desk is both brand new, and "has always been" in the lobby.


Design Team

Kyle Coburn | Associate, AIA |
Hari Priya Rangarajan | Associate |
Architectural Design
Providence, RI
Brown University