Project Description

City of Norfolk – Slover Library

Named in honor of Colonel Samuel L. Slover, former Mayor of Norfolk, the Slover Library is an essential public facility for nurturing and stimulating learning and civic interaction in the community.

The project combines a renovation of the historic Seaboard Building, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and construction of a brand new building and connecting atrium called the “Forum”. Key to this project is maintaining the historic integrity of the existing building while seamlessly integrating it with the new construction. The end result is a 138,000 GSF, state of the art facility that will serve the community for years to come.

Challenged by the primary donor to build the most technologically advanced library in the state, big ideas include reasserting the library as a community resource for meetings and community gatherings. While the library has always been an information portal, for the last 100-plus years has functioned more as a warehouse. That paradigm has moved rather significantly, so that now the library provides a means of access to digital resources. Highlights include:

  • The Word Wall, a large display configuration spanning from the Forum up through the library staircase, combines technologies including an electronic mesh fabric and high-resolution flat panel displays. This digital “curtain” is capable of displaying letters, words and pictures pertinent to library activities or events, providing a backdrop of luminescence that will be seen from almost anywhere in the Forum.
  • The Cortile area, a cutting edge space showcasing interactive displays throughout. The library is host to a significant photographic archive, and making that photographic archive publicly available was one of the key considerations Content consists of a digitization of the Sargeant Memorial Collection of historical Norfolk articles, items and artifacts.
  • A multiuser, interactive display table in the forum displays happenings in the library and other city related information. This 12’ x 4’ assembled display with a touch sensitive surface allows many windows to be open at once. All the windows can be resized, and patrons can browse the entire collection with their fingers, much like a giant iPad.
  • Wall mounted inte¬¬ractive displays and static holographic displays located throughout the library.

The three story Forum is a place where people can gather and events can be held. A community engagement meeting room may be used as a gallery or for banquets, presentations and other events. Public computer labs are available to library patrons. In addition, the library houses two computer training rooms offering organized instruction. The children’s area features an interactive floor and computers. A teen lounge is also equipped with gaming and computers. Other spaces include conference rooms, group study rooms, and meeting rooms.

Winner, Public Services Project of the Year, International AV Awards 2016

Project Details

  • Location: Norfolk VA
  • Size: 138,000 GSF
  • Budget: $55M
  • Planning/Design: Audiovisual, IT/Telecom, Security, Acoustics
  • Year Completed: 2014