The Library at Art Building West, University of Iowa
Client: University of Iowa
Architect: Steven Holl Architects
Milder Office furnished the study spaces in the much lauded School of Art & Art History Library designed by Steven Holl Architects. Reading rooms offer Milder Library Tables with overhead spot lighting, while private study areas are furnished with the Milder Library Carrels complete with lockable storage for students ‘camping out’ for much of the day. Carrel options include lighting, storage, and power and data ports. The height of the (three sided) partition can be modified to increase or decrease sight lines. The units can be used to partition the open space plan.
Milder Office also provided side tables for the lounge area that overlooks the surrounding pond and forest.
Williams College Commons
Client: Williams College
Architect: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects
While the project was still in schematic development, Milder Office had the opportunity to work with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects on the interior design of a new central library building at Williams College, a renowned liberal arts college in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Working with students, faculty, library staff and administrators we created four test sites to prototype and publicly test concepts for new learning environments.
This was not only an opportunity for the planning team to anticipate what will become the new library later on, but to also to involve the larger community at the college in the discussions and decision making about the new building interior.
Working off leads we picked up from the discussion with the architects and during visits to the campus.
We proposed, installed and iterated four options:
The Café: meeting spot and destination
The Lounge: Informal with large pillows, low tables, and moveable displays and white boards for delineating space, note taking and collaboration.
Alone + Together: Creating a smaller space on the open floor, this installation explored the dynamic between working individually or in groups, and developing dynamics when shifting between both states.
Islands: The fourth site explored a specific architectural detail along the facade of the building and looked for options of larger study ‘islands’.
Working with the Williams community over the course of two semesters, we collected data and feedback from all stakeholders through surveys, interviews, as well as public forums and presentations
Some of the insights and learning were made part of the final design of the building that went into service several years later.
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MIT Stratton Reading Room
Client: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Architect: Perkins + Will (formerly Signer Harris Architects)
Signer Harris Architects came to Milder Office with unique request, to design a library table that could transform into a carrel with privacy panels in order to provide greater privacy for students cramming at the end of the semester. The architects had conducted interviews and surveys of students and faculty and concluded that the existing furniture did not satisfied the students changing needs throughout the semester. Milder Office designed the Convertible Carrel in response.
The Convertible Carrel uses a piston mechanism to flip the tabletop upwards to reveal a secondary work-surface and privacy panels; a reading table converts to a semi-private study carrel. These two furniture-solutions-in-one supports individual learning as well as group work and greatly enhance the functionality and usage of the 5th Floor Reading Room.
Collegeprowler.com (College guides written by students) listed the Stratton Center Reading Room as the “Best Place to Study” on the MIT campus. One student writes, “In terms of places to study, the Student Center has a reading room, where almost everyone convenes for a quiet place to study for midterms and finals. Besides all of that, there are conference rooms where groups often hold meetings.” Library Carrel – Study Carrel – Library furniture – Educational furniture
Milder Office also furnished meeting rooms, students lounges, as well as short term lockers for this popular study hall.