UMass Dartmouth Claire T. Carney Library UMass Dartmouth Claire T. Carney Library / Dartmouth, Massachusetts, United States

UMass Dartmouth Claire T. Carney Library

Applications: Facades
Mesh: Cubist
Attachment: Eyebolt
Working with Cambridge was a very positive experience. They were transparent, helpful and productive. A great example of a partnership between a manufacturer and an architect to realize the design intent.
- Ben Youtz, AIA, LEED Partner, designLab Architects
  • Location: Dartmouth, Massachusetts, United States
  • Year Completed: 2013
  • End Use: Academic
  • Architect: designLab Architects, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Additional Architect(s): Austin Architects, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Engineer: RSE Associates, Watertown, MA
  • General Contractor: Consigli Construction Company, Boston, MA
  • Installer: Salem Glass, Salem, Massachusetts
  • Owner: University of Massachusetts


The 2013 renovation of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Claire T. Carney Library was a transformation of the significant brutalist work of renowned architect Paul Rudolph, who designed the original structure that was completed in 1972. DesignLab Architects was charged with reinterpreting the original building -- a large complex of tiered concrete cantilevers -- to make it more welcoming and representative of the modern age. The project included 155,000 square feet of renovated library space over six levels and a new 25,000-square-foot modern entry and social gathering space. DesignLab drew inspiration from Rudolph's use of woven stainless steel mesh curtains on the inside of some campus buildings, which ultimately led them to the application of exterior stainless steel sun-shading fins from Cambridge Architectural on the new addition and first and second-floor elevations.


There were multiple reasons for integrating Cambridge fins into the project. First, was the practical need to reduce heat gain and glare on the south and west sides of the original building. The proportion and space of the fins was designed to be in concert with the detailing of the original brutalist architecture. On the library's addition, the fins acted as a curtain pulled aside to present the original architecture within. To do so, DesignLab used a tighter dimension on the ends of the east and west elevations to bunch up the fins, while they are pulled apart within the middle of the elevation. The pattern and rhythm of the fins also unified the addition with the existing architecture, especially on the west elevation where they were applied to the new structure as well as the first and second floors of the original library. Cambridge's Cubist mesh was selected for the project because it provided significant depth compared to other patterns. An eyebolt attachment system was used to secure the mesh to the structure.


Although LEED certification was not sought for the library, the Cubist mesh functioned as small individual light shelves and fins and helped to achieve the solar gain and glare reduction goals for the project.

Photos courtesy University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

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