Carnegie Mellon University Sorrells Library

Carnegie Mellon University Sorrells Library

GBBN Architects Inc.
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Project Year
Ed Massery
Product Spec Sheet

Carpet - Carpet Lapidus Mantle Milliken
Study Carrel - BuzziTempBuzziSpace
Deountable Wall - Enclose Moveable WallsHaworth
Bamboo - Plywood & VeneerPlyboo
Lighting - Eros Low-voltage PendantsTech Lighting

Product Spec Sheet
Carpet - Carpet Lapidus Mantle
Study Carrel - BuzziTemp
Deountable Wall - Enclose Moveable Walls
by Haworth
Bamboo - Plywood & Veneer
by Plyboo
Lighting - Eros Low-voltage Pendants

Carnegie Mellon University Sorrells Library Renovation

GBBN Architects Inc. as Architects

Three prefabricated bamboo elements are at the heart of this renovation. Designed by GBBN and fabricated locally by two Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture alums, these striking millwork piecesbring warmth to a concrete Brutalist building and help turn itinto a place for active learning.

Near the entrance, “arbors” bring down the scale of the space and provide collaborative zones that feel sheltered within an active, social area.A “portal”in the middle separates the active space near the entry and circulation desk from quiet and focused work zones toward the back. The portal also offers students a range of alternative seating on and around its platform. A multi-media collaborative “den” at the back of the library lets larger groups work without disrupting others.


Additionally, prefabricatedglass and metal modular work rooms were added to the space. They keep students visually connected to the rest of the library but provide acoustic privacy for group projects.

All four elements were fabricated off-site and installed in just two weeks during a campus break. To accommodate these changes, a large amount of little-used books were moved off-site while 12,000 of the most frequently requested titles remain.

Material Used :

1. Bamboo: Plyboo Plywood & Veneer
2. Deountable Wall: Haworth Enclose Moveable Walls
3. Lighting: Tech Lighting Eros Low-voltage Pendants
4. Carpet: Milliken Carpet Lapidus Mantle 
5. Study Carrel: BuzziSpace BuzziTemp

Project team
Fabricators of bamboo element
A.A. Hijmans van den Bergh building Utrecht University
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A.A. Hijmans van den Bergh building Utrecht University

Utrecht, Netherlands - Build completed in 2005
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