EKU Crabbe Library – Noel Studio and Garden

Studio for Academic Creativity
Crabbe Library Renovation
Eastern Kentucky University
Richmond, Kentucky

With the Noel Studio for Academic Creativity, Eastern Kentucky University sought to create an integrated space, bringing together writing, communication and research areas of the university. The studio includes a number of different areas: an invention space with whiteboards for brainstorming; individual spaces; practice rooms fit for small groups rehearsing presentations; a presentation suite for delivering and refining oral presentations; the Writing Center, a central open space with skylights (i.e. “the Greenhouse”) for spontaneous collaborative group work or work with manipulatives, with workstations, video cameras, and flat-screen computer monitors; and additional classroom and conference room for larger meetings, and networking with colleagues on campus and remotely.

The Noel Studio reclaimed long-neglected space that originally had served as the university’s first and only library when built in 1924. This space was used primarily for storage. The reinforced concrete “box” has tight floor-to-floor dimensions, needed to have an accessible connection to the second level of the library, and contained floor-to ceiling HVAC pipes blocking visual axis through the space. The space was completely reimagined and rebuilt into an open, flexible, well-lighted student-focused space within the main library. Bright, airy and colorful, the studio has exceeded expectations in its first semester of
operations, becoming a popular campus destination for students.

Eastern Kentucky University



Phase 1 Studio Complete in September 2010

Phase 2 Garden Complete in September 2015

Project Team:
MEP Engineers: CMTA, Inc
Structural Engineers: BFMJ, Inc.
Interior Design: Swope Design Group