Pre-construction Begins on Modernized Langsdale Library

Plano-Coudon has begun pre-construction work on a major renovation of the library building dubbed the “gateway” to the University of Baltimore campus.

Built in 1965, UB’s Langsdale Library is about to get a complete, interior remodel as well as a new facade. The project, which is expected to begin in spring 2015 and be completed before January 2017, involves gutting the 58,000-square-foot building, upgrading mechanical and electrical systems, upgrading the elevator, and creating new interior spaces that reflect the nature of the University of Baltimore and the functions of a modern, academic library.  The project also includes a new metal panel and glass curtain wall façade and a four-story glass atrium addition.

“The way libraries operate is changing,” said Andrew Hynes, project manager.

Many libraries are storing fewer books and devoting more space to electronic resources, meeting spaces and special or traveling collections of books and other materials, said Hynes. Plano-Coudon, he added, has previously built modern, academic libraries for other clients.

The remodel will also improve the university building’s energy efficiency through high-efficiency lighting systems and heating and cooling equipment, and refurbished air handlers.

The project includes a few unique and challenging aspects. The modern design for the Langsdale features assorted exposed surfaces, including polished concrete floors and concrete ceiling waffles.

“But exposed hard surfaces, like concrete, don’t deaden sound and you still want sound-control in a library,” Hynes said. So Plano-Coudon is already planning to install special and invisible acoustical treatments to the library’s interior.

Situated at the corner of Maryland Avenue and Oliver Street, the Langsdale Library project will require crews to complete major construction “in a tight, urban occupied setting,” said Cliff Milstead, project executive. Plano-Coudon, however, has extensive experience working in such spaces and is already planning to arrange just-in-time delivery of materials and implement other measures to keep the project moving smoothly and safely.

Once construction is completed, the University of Baltimore will have a distinctive “gateway.” Designed by Behnisch Architekten of Boston, the same architect that designed UB’s John and Frances Angelos Law Center, the remodeled Langsdale Library will feature a modern facade of undulating, metal panels and large windows. The exterior renovation will also give the building a soaring, four-story atrium made up of glass panels set together at irregular angles.