The Barbara J. Burger iZone, in the University of Rochester’s historic Rush Rhees Library, was one of 13 libraries recognized across the United States and Canada in the American Libraries Association (ALA) 2019 Library Design Showcase. Read more in the September/October online edition of American Libraries magazine (page 38). The showcase honors innovative architectural feats that address library user needs in unique, interesting, and effective ways.
iZone is a 13,000 gsf space designed to inspire imagination, catalyze ideas, and promote innovation. iZone offers a platform to engage, explore, and imagine ideas for social, community, and economic impact; encourages the formation of community to generate these ideas; and helps students learn how to turn their ideas into projects.
iZone’s mission is accomplished architecturally through “back-of-house” and “front-of-house” spaces working together. The “back” provides psychological safety, the ability to work individually or in small groups, and a place to privately explore new ideas. The “front” is a bold, exciting place to put ideas on display, publicly share them, and develop a community to support their creation.
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