U of T Magazine

Winter 2017


More Study Space Is on the Way

Robarts Common will create new spaces for students to study, collaborate and access the world’s digital knowledge

A rendering of Robarts Common. Courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects.

A rendering of Robarts Common. Courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects.

A highly anticipated expansion to U of T’s Robarts Library will provide much-needed study and collaboration space for the building’s 18,000 daily visitors.

A five-storey free-standing addition planned for the library’s west side will be connected to the main library by a four-storey bridge. To be called the Robarts Common, the building will increase study spaces by 25 per cent, bringing the total number to just over 6,000.

“This is a major part of our revitalization process,” says Larry Alford, U of T’s chief librarian. “It’s about creating space for students to do new and different kinds of things.”

Robarts Common will include traditional reading tables and carrel desks, as well as long study tables, soft-seating areas and amphitheatre-­style seating arrangements for more social learning activities. The new facility will also include 32 meeting rooms – several with display screens and loudspeakers, to allow students to collaborate on group projects. There will also be Wi-Fi access and wireless printing stations throughout the building.

Designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, Robarts Common has received more than $19 million in support from alumni and friends, including, a lead donation from the late Russell Morrison (MA 1947) and Katherine Morrison (PhD 1979).


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