New 21st Century Library at Western Dakota Tech

FourFront Design was pleased to have been a part of the team that made Western Dakota Tech’s state-of-the-art 11,000 sq. ft. library.  The WDT library is a joint academic library for use by WDT, Rapid City Public Library and Pennington County.   The design team at FourFront Design knew that the library is no longer a place where you just borrow a book – it’s an interactive environment where you meet up with friends, study in groups, download to your E-Reader, explore and connect with people of all ages. 


The modern library acts more as a “living room” for the community. 

The Library director, Greta Chapman, said, “Literacy is the backbone of the economy.  It’s the backbone of our culture.  It’s how we progress as a civilization and so we can do that both in a virtual world and in a physical world and this facility certainly does provide it in that way.” 



The WDT library has a welcoming atmosphere for book-readers of all ages. 

With the use of study rooms, acoustic panels and acoustic clouds to reduce the impact of distractive interaction, those seeking the quiet atmosphere often associated with a library can find it.

Lounge seating including armchairs and sofas encourage feelings of relaxation and comfort. 


Flexible spaces which allow very different activities such as story-telling, studying, watching video monitors, and coffee bar ambience to co-exist were incorporated.  The needs of higher education students were balanced with spaces catering to users from pre-school children to adults. 



Natural, diffused daylight is most suitable for and easiest on the human eye.  FourFront introduced and controlled natural lighting on the south side of the building and used diffused lighting through clerestory windows above the roof.



The WDT library also now has all the technology capabilities that we have come to expect in our daily lives. 

The designers of the library created zones of key communications centers and collaboration pods and media stations for hot-desking, browsing, group activities, or long-term study.


eReader stations were provided where users may download digital content to their tablet of choice.

To keep everyone’s E-Readers, Ipads, etc. charged, power modules were centered at tables and electrical outlets for charging stations as well as cable management and various data and electrical ports were built into the furniture. 

With Wi-Fi available throughout, users can easily access information.


The WDT library is designed for interaction.

Libraries are becoming more a place where people come together. 

FourFront Design incorporated a “marketplace” and café for users of the library making the atmosphere more similar to a Barnes and Noble.

The flexibility of the design as well as the grid of floor outlets and Wi-Fi available easily allows for collaborative spaces.

Acoustics were designed to minimize the impact of the wide range of people interactions.

Through careful and thoughtful design, students and community members now have full access to a welcoming, technologically advanced, and interactive atmosphere of literacy.

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