The transformation of the Robert L. Bogomolny Library respects the memory and history of the original library design while simultaneously modernizing it to meet contemporary research, scholarship, archival and environmental demands. The building, situated at the prominent intersection of Maryland Avenue and Oliver Street, has immediate visual connections to Penn Station and other important landmarks on the UB Campus. The original massing concept of the Robert L. Bogomolny Library is substantially maintained – that of the “floating box”. To the west of the building there is now a new academic and public space with the addition of a glass hall. The geometry of this addition differentiates the new construction from the existing building while retaining the elemental simplicity of the original floating box. The atrium addition created on the west facade of the original building commands a significant presence along Oliver Street and signals a new intervention in the life of the building creating also a new entrance. The hall and the urban plaza that form around its base populates the new pedestrian way with vibrant public amenities that signal the University’s commitment to developing a strong and welcoming urban presence. Inside, the glass hall promotes interior circulation, brings daylight and views into the original floor plate, and creates new informal study and meeting perches within its enclosure. Such spaces reappear on the library floors as well, acknowledging a new era of library use that privileges learning and interaction. With extensive interior glazing and flexible layouts, the life of the Robert L. Bogomolny Library as a key node in the University of Baltimore network can be ensured. This strategy minimizes the impact of the renovation on the building structure, which is nearly all maintained for the accommodation of the library program, and minimizes the risk of costly modifications to the existing waffle slab. The building’s program places stacked spaces towards the interior zone of the floor, between the cores, to mitigate any impact of sunlight on the printed material. This also preserves perimeter floor space for more regularly occupied functions that are able to take advantage of the daylighting as well as the natural ventilation afforded by the new upgraded facade. Offices, study rooms, and informal work areas that occupy the eastern portion of the building benefit from access to Maryland Street and views toward Penn Station. These spaces along the western facade are directly connected to the new Glass Hall with its ample daylight and open circulation. As distant as possible from the façade, interior partitions are glazed to maximize visual transparency and transmission of daylight.
The Stuttgart-based practice known today as Behnisch Architekten was founded in 1989 under the leadership of Stefan Behnisch. Originally established as a branch office of Günter Behnisch’s practice Behnisch & Partner, it became independent in 1991 and has subsequently developed into an international practice with offices in Stuttgart, Munich, Los Angeles/California (1999 – 2011), and Boston/Massachusetts. These offices are directed by Stefan Behnisch and his partners in varying combinations. The Partners are Robert Hösle, Robert Matthew Noblett and Stefan Rappold. Stefan Behnisch is involved in all three offices.