Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library at Queens College


Gruzen Samton • IBI Group`s design for this state-of-the-art library and the surrounding, landscaped area succeeds in extending the campus`s historic mall. The result is a new, raised semi-circular plaza that serves as a central gathering place for the Queens College community and a forecourt for the library. The library accommodates a computer cataloging system, administrative and technical functions, and a range of common areas and lecture and conference facilities. We also incorporated a tall clock tower which was designed to look like another well-known structure on campus into our plan for the mall area. We worked closely with the City University of New York and the Dormitory Authority of New York to provide comprehensive design services which included master planning, pro- gramming, and site selection. The resulting structure features signature styling and is highly functional and efficient. Unifying Building Plan for a Complex Facility One enters the new library at the third, or middle, level of the building. A sequence of multilevel user spaces that connect diagonally across the building form the unifying feature of the library plan. These spaces include the two-story entry and public seating area, the rotunda and main circulation desk, the main stair- case and elevators, the computer catalog area, and the main reading rooms that have views of a secluded lawn to the north- west. Support spaces include stack areas and administrative and technical functional areas. These interconnected user spaces create a strong sense of orientation for visitors to the facility. Design choices also sup- port the college`s objectives for fostering maximum student involvement and understanding of available resources contained in the new facility.

Opened, 1988