The dawn of the 21st century brought new challenges, including the coming tide of computer-based information. San Diego State University (SDSU) recognized a need to update and expand the Malcolm A. Love Library, adding high-tech environmental features like those graduates would soon encounter.
The school added 200,000 square feet to the existing library, including two stories below grade to join the facility underground. The subterranean portion features barrel-vaulted skylights to bring natural light to the space. But the most spectacular feature is the 80-foot-wide glass dome, dubbed the “Infodome,” which became the library’s new entrance as well as the iconic feature of SDSU’s campus. The dome rests on a circular beam elevated by a series of large concrete columns two-and-a-half stories high, creating a vast open space and a striking effect. It also created many sleepless nights for Sundt as we planned every detail to install it perfectly. Almost 20 percent of the project was extremely complicated concrete work – which we self-performed – including cast-in-place concrete and 17,000 cubic yards of structural concrete.
Building an expansive addition in the middle of a vibrant, active campus – and putting a large portion of it underground – was no small feat. The team excavated 120,000 cubic yards of dirt and relocated a sea of utilities. But it was a labor of love, resulting in a state-of-the-art media center, 24/7 study area and electronic classrooms. The high-tech environment also met SDSU’s ultimate goal: to prepare graduates for a new digital age.
San Diego State University
Malcolm A. Love Library