Sasaki initially worked with the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico to investigate how to transform the original 1969 library building into a more relevant and collaborative academic hub. During the course of this study it was discovered that the building was in need of a significant seismic upgrade that would be both cost prohibitive and severely limit the flexibility of the building. The university then asked Sasaki to collaborate with them to design a building that will become the leading academic library in Mexico.
The new library, situated on the site of the previous library, will embody the academic mission of the Tecnológico de Monterrey, a place where students, faculty, staff, and the region's industry leaders come together to access information, study, collaborate, and be inspired.
The ground floor of the library contains a dramatic new student plaza bracketed by a cafe, an auditorium, a gallery, and a makerspace lab. Dramatically perched above this plaza are the upper floors of the library. By placing the library above this open space, views and connections are created across the campus, and the plaza itself is shaded by the library above. Comprising four floors of program elements, the library transitions from technology-rich collaborative study spaces at its base to quiet, contemplative study at the top. A central staircase extends from the plaza level to the rooftop, culminating in dramatic views of Cerro de la Silla, the iconic mountain that overlooks the campus.
The new library will embody the academic mission of Tec de Monterrey, common ground for all disciplines and programs contained within the Tec, the library will be the place where students, faculty, staff, and knowledge groups come together to access information, study, collaborate, and be inspired.
The experience of the library will sum up the full cycle of learning and production at the Tec, from the day to day to special events. In acknowledgement of the dynamic nature of teaching and learning at the Tec, the building will be inherently flexible and adaptable, ensuring it will both serve and reflect the learning experience from now on to the future.
The new library for the University creates a vibrant heart at the center of the campus. Programmatically it offers facilities for the University library’s general collections, spaces for administrative and library staff, a cafe, exhibition space, a flexible auditorium, common areas, and spaces for the several University’s academic support programs. It offers a wide range of study seats, from open reading tables, open group study spaces, to a variety of closed group study rooms that accommodate different sized groups, and individual reading carrels.
The building also unifies the University’s holdings of Special Collections into one facility, providing spaces to house a variety of primary source material, and that support teaching, research, and scholarship at the University. Specific program spaces include areas for quarantine, processing, cataloguing, and a reading room.
The new envelope is defined through a glass skin, so in order to improve thermal behavior it was specified high performance that only absorbs 23% of the received heat. Following this idea, exterior lighting sensors were include to regulate inner blinds automatically and the HVAC system. Also, according to an energy efficient design it was achieved a 32% more efficient energetic performance.