Yesterday, Sarasota’s Ringling College of Art and Design debuted their $18 million Alfred R. Goldstein Ringling College Library on the first day of students’ Spring semester classes.
The opening began with a collegiate tradition, a “passing of the books” ceremony that had 250 faculty, administrators and students lined up to pass 200 of the last remaining books between the old library and new one.
But the more exciting part was stepping inside the new building. Students were clearly happy to have a facility that offers: a 24/7 first-floor study area, 24 hr. digital lab and downstairs coffee bar. (I myself wouldn’t mind that.) Some reactions to the new building: “oh my god, it’s so incredible, “Everything’s so fancy,” and “It looks just like Hogwarts.”
Essentially, everyone was like this:
Here were the five coolest things we saw there:
1. There’s a terrace. In fact, there’s more than one.
We spotted these students and faculty lying in the sun at the opening. The red chairs seem perfect for sunbathing but, of course, studying as well. One student said the space “made him want to work.”
2. A Ringling-graduate designed a mural that spans three floors
Ringling alum Julie Kanapaux designed the three-level mural titled “Momentum.” She said in a statement that the work “symbolizes the evolution of creativity through innovative technology.”
3. Chairs you can spin on–yes, we mean spinning chairs.
— Elizabeth Djinis (@djinisinabottle) January 9, 2017
Thomas Heatherwick is a British designer known for works that are both functional and artistic. As per my tweet, his chairs are fan favorite at Dallas’ Nasher Sculpture Center and they generally run anywhere from $700-$1,000. The library’s fundraising chairs, Carolyn Johnson and Isabel Norton, told me that students were able to vote on the library’s furniture in a fair of iconic furniture from the last century. We can’t imagine how they chose these–just kidding, they’re awesome.
4. A spiral staircase worthy of M.C. Escher
This black spiral staircase–although I take liberties in using the word spiral–wove throughout the library’s center. The black exterior contrasted with the gray concrete material of the steps.
If you’ve ever seen M.C. Escher’s work, he specializes in the impossible, or structures that seem as if they could exist but really could not. Here’s his famous 1961 lithograph, Waterfall:
5. Bright pops of colors on unexpected walls that lend the interior a fun, lively feel
The library will officially open Jan. 25 with a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony. Check out staff photographer Dan Wagner’s gallery here.