Project Description

Georgia Tech Architecture Library

The assignment
When the Dean of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology decided it was time to restore the once modernist, Bahaus-inspired College of Architecture Library to its former glory, he partnered with Leapley Construction.

Built in 1952, the library was one of the first buildings designed by P.M. Heffernan, famed architect and larger-than-life figure on the Georgia Tech campus for almost four decades. In the early 1980’s, when the Architecture program outgrew its space, a new building and library were built, and gradually the original library devolved into a maze of research and other spaces.

In addition to the open reading room, the scope included four private offices, a multipurpose classroom for 60 students, four open work stations, and informal meeting space.

The biggest challenge
To faithfully restore the library to its original design intent, the Leapley team had to be creative, at times using contemporary materials in place of those that are no longer available, to achieve the intended look.


  • The library is once again a bright, open reading room with book shelving along one long wall and cork along the opposite wall.
  • The ceiling has been restored to its original height and fitted with the original lighting pattern.
  • Through abundant use of glass, visitors can appreciate the size and transparency of the original library.


  • Atlanta Urban Design Commission – Award of Excellence
  • Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation – Excellence in Rehabilitation
  • International Interior Design Assoc. (IIDA) – Georgia- Award of Merit, Historic Preservation, 2014

Project Type:
Higher Education

5,886 SF; One floor

Atlanta, GA

Real Estate:
University Library

Bahaus, retro rehabilitation

Lord Aeck Sargent