Square Footage: 55,000
“Libraries connect people to the information they need to solve problems, push boundaries, and shape the future.” OCLC, a global library cooperative, does just this by developing technologies that support thousands of libraries to make information accessible and useful to people around the world. In August of 2014, Perkins+Will won a design competition to update and reimagine the OCLC headquarters in Dublin, Ohio. The focus of the project were the public spaces of the building, namely, enlivening the dimly-lit, foreboding four-story atrium, which had been walled off from floor, yet is the focal point of the building.
Bold moves were made in the design solution to help solve the separation of space – from repurposing unused exterior plazas to be transformed into useful, lively interior spaces, to designing a completely new, cantilevered stairway that is both sculptural and functional in connecting people throughout the building. In addition, existing stone panels that previously shielded interior spaces from access and daylight were removed to unveil a new tier of enclosed, state-of-the-art meeting rooms. A repositioned building lobby enhances the security of the building, while also creating a grand entry experience for both employees and visitors. The Third Place, a social café and gathering space, fosters employee connectivity across the building. Overall, clean lines and a refined palette of materials, including oak wood, terrazzo, and decorative glass enliven and reinvigorate OCLC’s spaces while also creating a timeless, enduring design.