Higher Education

CCU Thompson Library

Thompson Library

Coastal Carolina University

Conway, SC


The CCU Thompson Library is a dynamic hub for campus life. The new 64,000-sf building extends the program of adjacent Kimbel Library by providing vibrant spaces for student study, creation, and academic enrichment beyond the classroom. By serving students throughout their time on campus, Thompson Library plays a pivotal role in fostering academic success.

Located on a prominent site along University Boulevard, Thompson Library commands a strong street presence and establishes itself as a timeless symbol for the CCU campus. Its exterior character blends contemporary elements with the traditional architectural style characteristic of surrounding buildings. Glass and aluminum storefronts complement formal facades of cast stone and brick veneer. Simple classical columns support reserved pediments above primary entrances. A two-story glass curtain wall faces Kimbel Library, creating an unexpected modern touch visible only from the interior of campus. The transparency of the northern façade recognizes the interconnected program between both buildings: it suggests a forward-focused new identity while acknowledging the tradition established in the original library.

The new courtyard created between Thompson and Kimbel creates a tranquil outdoor space for both respite and gathering. Natural deck boards top low concrete walls, providing comfortable bench seating in the shade of old campus trees. The design improves underutilized green space while reinforcing the connection between buildings with a plaza and covered walkway. Curved pathways, respectful of existing campus circulation, lead pedestrians into the two-story lobby.

Interior spaces are organized around a central Study Commons featuring an open stair that serves as a hub of building activity. Light monitors bring northern daylight deep into the center of the building. Glass walls highlight the Maker Space suite, which includes dedicated space for a Virtual Reality Lab, Data Visualization, and recording studios. Thompson Library is also home to classrooms, student workrooms, study rooms, and offices.

CCU’s signature teal hue energizes interior fixtures and finishes, complementing grays, whites, and light wood tones. Felt acoustical baffles enliven white ceilings and enhance acoustics, while soft seating and patterned carpeting also work to dampen sound. Modular furniture groupings within the building’s wide corridors invite both quiet study and group collaboration. With a modern, open, and welcoming atmosphere, Thompson Library provides a comfortable yet dynamic destination for student learning and collaboration.

This project is currently under construction with Chancel Construction.