Located in the heart of the civic district in Richmond, the Virginia State Library reflects the rich and diverse history of one of our most historically significant states with its extensive collection of Colonial American documents. The five-story library contains close to one-half o f a million square feet of manuscripts, books, maps and houses a complete floor dedicated entire ly to the restoration of their holdings and acquisitions. The design respects Virginia’s architec tural tradition but also represents a revitalization of the city’s urban center. The reading room s were carefully modeled to allow diffuse natural light without damaging the collections with direct sunlight. They were designed as public rooms with soaring ceilings that open out to the magnificent three story atrium lobby.

Joshua Cohn was the project team designer while at SOM.