Vanderbilt University
Eskind Biomedical Research Library
Nashville, TN

 80,000 SF • DESIGN ARCHITECT

Eskind Library is the hub of information resources at VUMC, supporting academic and clinical work with a full spectrum of print and electronic material. The building was designed for maximum flexibility at a time when it was not yet clear what direction the information revolution would take. Over the past twenty years, Davis Brody Bond’s work has proved to be prescient and completely adaptable to evolving technologies.

Both physical stacks and data workstations can be accommodated throughout the interior. All areas are provided with an accessible distribution armature of cable trays and chases in counter-height millwork. Davis Brody Bond developed an innovative system that gangs cable terminations in the floor to allow incremental conversion of workstations, which has since become widely used. We also anticipated the rise of laptops and placed network ports throughout the Library, including at lounge seating.

The building is designed as a gateway between the fine-grained scale of the core campus and the mid-rise density of the Medical Center. The north-facing reading room features a fifty foot high glass wall supported by a tensile frame. The interiors reconcile the donor’s desire for the comfort of a traditional scholarly library with the modern campus, using cherry paneling and warm-colored fabrics to evoke a familiar character in a contemporary setting.