Klau Library
Client: Hebrew Union College
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 42,000sf renovation and 15,000sf three-story addition.
  • A variety of formal and informal gathering spaces that increase collaboration opportunities.
  • A rare book reading room that supports use and research opportunities.
  • A new campus geothermal system, new life safety, and technology and voice/data communication upgrades were key components of the project.
  • To protect the pre-1900 and rare collection at Klau Library, special HVAC systems and controls were installed. Even with this new system, the building operates at 40% greater efficiency than it did prior to the project.
Interesting Fact: Klau Library has the largest collection of Hebraic literature in the western hemisphere (second only to Jerusalem in the world). The library’s ancient and rare materials required constant, skilled care and maintenance as well as constant access throughout the duration of the project.
Master Planning|Architecture

After an evaluation of the Klau Library — the main research library at Hebrew Union College — determined that the exterior skin wasn’t sound and didn’t meet thermal envelope expectations, SHP completely reskinned the building… while keeping the facility fully operational. The resulting 42,000sf renovation and addition of a 15,000sf three-story research pavilion establishes a new main entrance, houses administrative offices and offers a high-security exhibit area.

"The library houses an incredible array of rare artifacts, so it was essential to support access to the collection during construction. We developed a detailed sequencing solution to maintain the integrity of and secure locations for these rare materials and special collections."
– Allison McKenzie, Principal, Director of Sustainability, SHP