Architectural group Spiezle designs new digital learning commons for next generation of Rutgers students

Spiezle Architectural Group announced the completion of the new Digital Learning Commons at the Rutgers University Archibald S. Alexander Library. Located on the College Avenue Campus in New Brunswick, the library is the campus’ main social sciences and humanities center of study. It is also home to Special Collections, University Archives and the East Asian Library.

“Our design vision focused on creating an open and inviting environment that integrated a variety of technology and services, while at the same time capitalizing on the existing physical qualities of the space — which included high ceilings, dynamic views and natural light. Improving the student experience was at the forefront of every decision,” said John Wright, principal — higher education at the Hamilton-based firm. “Now more than ever, it is crucial to create responsive and adaptable learning spaces, focused on student and faculty well-being, that support and promote the diverse offerings that truly define the Rutgers experience.”

The Alexander Library is the oldest and largest of the New Brunswick libraries. It supports doctoral programs in over 16 courses of study and supports four professional schools for the university. Spiezle’s fully accessible design solution brings the library into the modern age with an open concept approach that provides a welcoming atmosphere and spacious areas for group meetings, research, project development and study sessions. The project’s color palette highlights this approach with bright tones that complement the natural light coming in from the windows. The redesign also incorporates adaptable furniture, sound barriers and a variety of seating zones designated for either silent study or active task work.

“We’re immeasurably proud to be part of this pivotal renovation project,” Wright said. “It is a physical manifestation of a truly holistic and collaborative planning and design effort. We would not have achieved such success without the dedication and contributions of the University project team as well as all involved in the construction. The Digital Learning Commons have already become a feature destination standout on the College Avenue campus and will inspire social and educational advancement for decades to come.”