Pacific University Library

Forest Grove, Oregon

How do we take cues from surrounding historic buildings to incorporate a new state-of-the-art library into a campus core?

Pacific University Library. The foreground of this image shows the upper portion of a wall comprised of colorful fused glass panels. Both above and beyond the panels, a high, gabled ceiling with elegant white exposed support trusses enhances the grand cathedral-like space.

Envisioned as the academic and social heart of the campus, the Library expands collections as it integrates technology, and offers a variety of study and meeting spaces overlooking the school’s ancient oak groves. . The graceful architecture of the two-story Library echoes the strong foundation of Pacific University’s successful history while moving it confidently into the future.

The new Library brings covered walkways to the “Heart of Oak”, a foreground to the dramatic Atrium Lobby which measures 60 feet at its peak. A sweeping curved stair leads to the Reading Room, Conference Room and major collections. The Library’s 24-Hour Study Center, a special feature requested by Library users, is steps away from the University Center. Other amenities in the Library include individual and group study spaces with Internet-ready access, compact shelving for periodical research, and the Study Loft, which is a mezzanine space with views unequaled on campus.

Year Completed:
49,000 sf
Project Contact:
Edward Running, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Partner, Market Lead

LEED certified


The Pacific University Library houses a large installation by celebrated American glass artist Walter Gordinier. The atrium takes full advantage of the installation by placing the artists’ work front and center, ensuring that it is visible from both floors, and back-light by strategically placed windows.