Landscape Architecture students help Library envision role on campus


Auraria Library teamed up with Lori Catalano, senior instructor of landscape architecture in the College of Architecture and Planning, for a second project after a successful partnership last summer where upgrades were made to the landscaping in Auraria Library’s south courtyard.

For this spring’s project, Auraria Library worked with Catalano’s Landscape Architecture Design Studio to concept and envision new approaches to its outdoor space.

In their designs, students were charged with analyzing the larger context of Auraria Library’s role on campus, taking into consideration the original architecture of the building, the changing role of academic libraries in general, and the larger phased renovation taking place within the library. Students were asked to develop a strong philosophical and conceptual position to their projects, which were later articulated in their designs and final presentations.

In the studio, each student created drawings, collages, models, studies, and diagrams for their work, which culminated in a presentation to Auraria Library constituents, who evaluated and reviewed the students’ work.

“I am very pleased with the results of the class,” Catalano said. “It's a great opportunity for students to learn from a project close by and to interact with an engaged client.”

While the projects are only theoretical and won’t be implemented, the students’ innovative and creative designs sparked some great ideas and brainstorming among the Auraria Library participants.

Mary Somerville, university librarian and director, was pleased to continue the partnership on a number of levels. “'Library as laboratory' reflects our signature approach to improving services and facilities with and for our campus users,” she said. “As we proceed with facilities improvements, we benefit greatly from continuing to receive student viewpoints.”

Catalano said she enjoys incorporating Auraria Library in her classwork. “Mary Somerville and the library team… have a sincere interest and passion in what they do and how the experience of the library users can be enhanced.”

“In working with landscape architecture students, I have learned that the library extends well beyond its walls–to the outdoors,” said Somerville.

Posted by: 
Katy Brown