A five-storey expansion to the University of Toronto’s Robarts Library has been underway for a few years now, but new renderings give a glimpse into what students can expect to see inside the addition when they return this fall.
The expansion, called Robarts Common, will add 1,200 new study spaces inside a glass-enclosed structure on the library’s west side along Huron Street. It’s the first-ever major addition to the Robarts Library since it was built in the 1970s.
The study spaces will span across four floors in a variety of configurations, including communal tables, group study rooms, private carrels in wooden enclosures, and an informal amphitheatre.
The glass exterior will allow the study spaces to be flooded with natural light, which is great news for any students who plan to spend many hours cramming here.
The addition will connect to the main library building via a narrow bridge on the upper floors, according to architect Diamond Schmitt’s website.
The original plans for the Robarts Library, drawn up in the 1960s, called for a pavilion on the library’s west side, although at the time, it was intended to be an auditorium above a loading dock. Now, almost 50 years since the library was built, the western pavilion is finally being realized.
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The new addition is expected to open to students later this year.
“When the new Robarts Common opens in the 2021-2022 academic year, the library’s 18,000 daily users will quickly see and feel that the million square feet of the entire library complex are more social, collaborative and human,” the Diamond Schmitt website reads.