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Pius XII Memorial Library, Saint Louis University

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I’ll admit it; I wasn’t a huge fan of the Pius XII Memorial Library on the campus of Saint Louis University.  But up close, I discovered there is a simple beauty to the straight lines that repeat throughout the facade.

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Influenced by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the first floor seems to dissolve, leaving the upper floors floating above the sidewalk.

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The lines continue in the simple mosaic tile on the support columns.

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What is really impressive to me is the repeating bands of brick, both horizontal and vertical, that typify the coursework.  The architect took the standard St. Louis building material and used it in an innovative manner.  See more of the library, including its interior, at Built St. Louis.

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One Comment

  1. I was a sophomore there when it opened (’59-’60?) – quite state of the art when it opened. It replaced a TINY space in DuBourg Hall that dated to its building in 1886.
    Link to the original space, now repurposed: http://www.slu.edu/x20800.xml
    As I recall, the original library uad a closed stack system.

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