CSU Fort Collins
When we were invited by Joseph Montalbano, the founder of Studiotrope, to be part of an upcoming project for the Morgan Library at CSU, we were thrilled. The library is housed in a beautiful stone building located on the Colorado State University campus in Fort Collins. Inside, students have access to a variety of learning materials, independent work rooms, and specialized equipment. Studiotrope was in the beginnings of planning a renovation for the library that would allow it to be used for project-based learning.
Joseph is a true visionary. He and his firm had been working on libraries for quite some time, and had a well honed philosophy on what they could do from a design perspective to help the librarians at CSU create spaces that the students there would be excited to use and that would elevate their educational experience. They believe that libraries have an important role in the future of education and with the right space, can become incredibly valuable to the community. This is what we hoped to accomplish for the Morgan Library.
Joseph’s idea was to create a small collaborative space within the larger common study space. We started designing a mobile room divider that the students could move around the room to the area in which they were working. The divider would be double-sided and could be used both as a whiteboard and and on the other side they could host digital projects by plugging in their laptop to show their friends what they’ve been working on.
When Joseph told us his plans, we were excited by the prospect of such an interesting challenge. It was a bold proposal, but a brilliant one. And we were excited to be working with Joseph once again. His ideas are fresh and innovative. And we were confident that by working together, we would be able to come up with some great solutions.
The one major complication with this project was the mobility of the piece. The divider needed to have high-tech capabilities (needed to be able to be plugged in) and also be lightweight and easy to move from one space to the next.
After several brainstorming sessions, we eventually settled on an idea that we called the Catalyst. We created the divider and attached industrial caster wheels to the bottom. This made it easy to move around the library.
Collaboration and teamwork were essential for this project. We could not have done it without Joseph and his fabulous design team. We are grateful to have had the chance to work with Studiotrope once again and look forward to all of the exciting things we will accomplish in the future!