Stanford University, Lathrop Library

Stanford, California

Project Info
Stanford University, Lathrop Library
Stanford, California
Completion Date: 2014
Square Footage: 180,000

At the 180,000 square foot (16,720 square meter) Lathrop Library at Stanford, Perkins+Will was challenged to reinvent the purpose-built 1966 Graduate School of Business and establish a vibrant new creative hub for the entire university community. With its many reimagined terraces and courtyards, the renewed building interacts dynamically with the verdant Stanford campus landscape, providing numerous social settings for students, faculty, and staff.
Lathrop’s “jewel in the crown” is the 2-story East Asia Library, housing the university’s extensive collections of books, scrolls, and artifacts in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, one of America’s most significant Asian holdings. The lush bamboo woodwork, red, black, and white color scheme, and glass display cases create an elegant oasis within the building.

Lathrop’s diverse program comprises:
• Academic Computing that includes individual and collaborative student spaces, technical support desk, break-out rooms, conference areas, touch-down offices, digital language laboratory, and 24-hour study space
• East Asia Library that includes print, special and art collections, reading rooms, stacks, administrative offices, and conference areas
• General university teaching space that provides flexible, interactive classrooms of various sizes, offices, student study areas, a video production/collaboration studio, and conference areas
• University library technical services serving all of Stanford’s libraries, including the full range of support spaces needed for book processing, digital library, and metadata services

This complete programmatic transformation offered numerous challenges, particularly given that academic spaces and teaching needs have changed so dramatically in the 50 years since Lathrop was constructed. Its new program principally reflects the kinds of flexibility, mobility, collaboration, and interaction common in today’s academic environments.