UNC School of the Arts – Semans Library

  • area / size 75,731 sqft
  • Completed 2014
  • Clark Nexsen designed the Semans Library as a place of collaboration for the UNC School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

    Semans Library was designed to foster performing arts inspiration with collaboration spaces and multiple collections of visual and performance art. The design of the new library not only accommodates the programmatic hurdles encountered by a thriving university program, but also establishes itself as a cultural focal point reflective of the progressive campus community. Situated at the highest point on the campus with views of downtown Winston-Salem, the library breaks open and links the existing campus fabric to planned future growth. Campus paths are integrated into the design providing areas for students to gather along the main plaza stair and plaza. The grand plaza stairs, complete with seating and laptop connections, link the lower portion of campus with the upper campus and provide students with ample opportunity to people watch, gather with friends, and meet with professors. The relationship of the stairs and the plaza provide an amphitheater-like experience encouraging impromptu student performances.

    Internally, casual study and reading spaces line the glass curtainwall. Strategically placed solar fins protect visitors from the otherwise harsh western sun and provide naturally lit and inviting internal spaces. The facility houses a vast collection of visual and performance art material including print media, audio recordings, and film. Variations of study spaces throughout provide opportunities for listening and viewing performance collections as well as spaces for traditional study and student/teacher interaction.

    ArchitectClark Nexsen
    PhotographyMark Herboth