Welliver was presented with the 2020 ENR Higher Education/Research Award of Merit for the Mui Ho Fine Arts Library at Cornell University. ENR celebrated New York’s Regional Best Projects during a virtual awards ceremony held on November 16, 2020.
“Welliver appreciates the long standing relationship we have with Cornell and the trust they have in us to construct intricate architectural projects on campus, such as the Fine Arts Library. As one of the preferred contractors on campus, we were thrilled for the opportunity to work with renowned architect STV Incorporated.” said Anne Welliver-Hartsing, President. “We are honored to be recognized by ENR for the work our team delivered on this truly one of a kind building and unique addition to the Cornell Campus.”
Marking the northern gateway to the Cornell University campus, Rand Hall was transformed to house the state-of-the-art Mui Ho Fine Arts Library. Its top two floors house massed stacks of books as its centerpiece, digital resources, and voluminous reading and study space. Three dense stack levels provide shelving for up to 125,000 volumes, leaving generous spaces for group and individual study on the main level. Along with 8,000 SF of shop space occupying the first floor, this 107-year-old industrial building was entirely rehabilitated.
In collaboration with architect STV Incorporated, the renovation project was an extensive overhaul of the existing three-story building. Work included removal of the third floor and raising the roof by nearly 4 feet in order to accommodate the nearly 30 feet high open bay library. The new library stacks are all steel construction hung from the roof structure consisting of an intricate series of metal grating walkways, aluminum shelving, and metal stairs. The new library houses the book collection for the College of Architecture, Arts and Planning.
The $17.2M renovation was designed and constructed over 18 months while maintaining access and operations to adjacent and connected buildings along with vehicular and pedestrian circulation around the building. “Our team at Welliver is proud to have constructed the Fine Arts Library, and of our ongoing successful partnership with Cornell University. We could not have accomplished this without the quality work of our subcontractors,” said Jason Edsall, Project Executive.
ENR’s Regional Best Projects Awards identifies and honors building teams behind outstanding design and construction efforts during the past year. Independent juries of industry leaders in design and construction from each of ENR’s 10 regional editions judge the projects using five criteria, including safety, innovation and teamwork. ENR New York’s annual Best Projects contest received 65 entries this year.