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Graff Library at City of Hope

City of Hope Research Hospital, a national cancer institute located in Duarte, CA, is currently updating their 12,500 sf Graff Library on campus. Libraries, as a typology, are currently undergoing an important and pivotal shift in definition as the Information Age ushers in a relational change in how we, the patronage, consume and physically access our information. With the advent of smart devices, portability, and the ubiquity of informational interconnectedness, the role of the library as mere repository for printed information is quickly becoming obsolete. Consequently, the contemporary architect’s role is primary in helping to re-define a new way in which the future sees and experiences these institutions as they adapt to a digital world. The modern library is ephemeral.

At Graff Library, the goal is to capitalize on its central location by retooling it as a meeting area, complete with café, exhibition space, lecture rooms, individual and group study areas, and lounge space while retaining a 1/3 of the stacks. The concept establishes a hierarchy for the new and varied program by choreographing their use based on sound considerations and expected traffic. In doing so, we carve a corridor that serves as a buffer through the library connecting the front and back entrances and providing a centralized axis. Because of this, the library staff is relocated to an easily accessible and highly visible location at the heart of this new main artery. The result is a mechanism that allows the staff to be more interactive with patrons, far more than the current library layout allows. Furthermore, sound distribution can be constrained by splitting the space into two zones of loud and quiet.

Status: Unbuilt
Project Type: Library
Building Type: Renovation
Size: 12,500 sf
Location: City of Hope, Duarte, CA

Principal: Hagy Belzberg
Project Manager: Ashley Coon
Project Team: Taryn Bone