Vajra Hodges

Vajra Hodges

Los Angeles, CA, US


UCLA Charles Young Research Library - LEED Gold (2012) - 60,000 SF Renovation

The Charles E. Young Research Library had become a shabby space, out of date with modern
technology, and suffering a loss of luster as a center of learning on the campus. We were
charged by the UCLA Head Librarian, to bring it back to an important, inviting destination for
students and faculty. We opened the interiors to take advantage of natural light and used
contextual materials to create a rich and inviting atmosphere. The renovated lower level creates
a study commons for more than 100 users and offices for staff. On the first level, new amenities
such as meeting and event spaces, collaborative spaces and a café have been added.
Themes of journey, discovery and collaboration guided the library re-design. Upon arrival, the
user experience has been transformed with sliding glass doors, light colors and clear glass walls
providing transparency and visual access. The new design respects the past history of the
building by retaining existing elements such as the monumental open stair and exposed brick
cladding at the core, and by incorporating wood for paneling at walls and ceilings. The Library
is organized around a central “street” which provides a recognizable directional pathway to the entry points of the various spaces.  

Integrated display screens are specifically tasked to be tools to support and foster research and
learning. The technology enables greater access to knowledge and artifacts that typically are
too precious to be handled by a wide audience. We incorporated new technologies and redesigned
spaces to create a welcoming, multi-purpose facility while respecting its modern
legacy. Display screens, a 2-story vertical ticker, QR codes and custom environmental graphics
created by our Branded Environments team guide users on their journey through the library and
provide information on library collections, services and events. According to university librarian
Gary E. Strong: “This renovation offers a model for other academic libraries around the world.”

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Status: Built
Location: Los Angeles, CA, US
My Role: Job Captain