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LERA Wins 2020 SEAoNY EiSE Award for Charles Library at Temple University

LERA Consulting Structural Engineers is proud to announce that the Charles Library at Temple University has won a 2020 Structural Engineers Association of New York Excellence in Structural Engineering Award for Best New Building. LERA was the structural engineer for this new visually and spatially diverse library, revitalizing Temple University’s North Philadelphia campus.

The library designed by architects Snohetta and Stantec with LERA Consulting Structural Engineers opened in September, 2019.

The Charles Library redefines what a modern library can offer its inhabitants and surrounding community. The design architects, Snøhetta, conceived a grand architectural vision, with an emphasis on soaring, open, and fluid spaces. This vision demanded a dynamic and innovative structural system in kind, employing a combination of large cantilevers and long-span arches. The 4-story, 220,000-sf library features a 47,300-sf building-wide green roof, reading and study spaces, event space, a 3D-printing workshop, and virtual reality space, as well as a 3-story-tall automated book storage and retrieval system that condenses the vast majority of the library’s collection into high-density storage units.

One of the library’s signature features is its “soaring” entrance canopies. Under the canopies, the entrances are set back up to 45 ft, and feature multi-story glass façades. Furthermore, a series of wood domes lining the underside of the canopies visually connect the entrances, and extend into the interior, where they expand to form the 3-story atrium and lobby spaces. Creating an efficient, resilient, and economical structure to support such a grand architectural shape was a considerable challenge.

Press Photo by Carrie Villani


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