The Reading Room at Falvey Memorial Library


Villanova University needed to renovate the historic main reading room and adjacent entry hall within the original structure of its Falvey Memorial Library. Building on our previous study for improvements to the entire library facility, the goal of this project was to re-create these spaces from their currently underutilized function as a storage area back into an important public gathering space for the entire campus.


Responding to student demands for more quiet study space and the new head librarian’s desire for greater connectivity between administrative offices and the rest of the library, this project provides a comfortable, durable and conducive space for study.  The design remains true to the historic fabric of the original structure and the spirit of Villanova while still creating a contemporary feel and a flexible and technologically modern environment.

Return on Design

Through an elegant re-imagining of these spaces, the design meets the goals of returning an iconic study space to campus, creating an accessible connection to the main library, and providing a focus on the University’s restored Cortona masterpiece “Triumph of David”.  New pilasters, ceiling ribbing and dramatic cove-lit coffers with custom-designed acoustic treatment instill a sense of drama and enhanced proportion to the main room.  Furniture selections allow a variety of study options.  Finally, new windows and LED fixtures improved energy efficiency.

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