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Paul Barrret Jr. Library

The Paul Barret Jr. Library, established in 2005, serves as a cornerstone for academic research at Rhodes College, aligning with faculty research interests and student educational demands. A collaborative design effort led by Hanbury, in partnership with Shepley Bulfinch, resulted in a 136,000 square-foot nexus of knowledge, featuring comprehensive facilities such as IT and administrative offices, classrooms, and media suites, alongside versatile study spaces and a 24-hour lounge. At its inauguration, the library's extensive collection boasted 278,392 volumes, over 1,159 print and 42,983 electronic periodicals, and significant digital and physical media resources, positioning it as a pivotal academic and technological hub.

Architecturally, the library is a tribute to Rhodes' rich heritage, integrating symbols of tradition in its stone carvings and stained glass. Its 120-foot tower, inspired by the Fibonacci sequence, and the Axminster wool carpet adorned with the school seal, showcase historical reverence. Meanwhile, the celestial ceiling in the apse and a stone portrait of President Dr. William E. Troutt infuse the design with personal and historical depth.

“As the lead design firm on the Barret Library, your team managed a particularly complex project spanning nearly five years, respected our architectural legacy, provided oversight and coordination with another prominent firm, and delivered one of the most beautiful and functional buildings in the country.”

– J. Allen Boone, Former VP of Finance and Business Affairs

  • Sector: Higher Education
  • Scope: Architecture, Interior Design
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • 2005
  • 136,000 SF
  • First Place Adaptive Use Project Design Award, ASID/IIDA IDEA VA, 2012
  • Virginia First Place Interior Design Excellence Award, Institutional Category, ASID, 2009
  • Traditional Building Magazine Palladio Award, 2007
  • College Planning & Management Magazine Education Design Showcase Honorable Mention, 2007
Project Team
Jane Cady Rathbone
Design Principal, Planning
Richard J. Rusinak
Managing Principal
Michael C. Beaver
Project Manager
Shepley Bulfinch
Associated Architect
MEP Engineering
Burr & Cole Consulting Engineers, Inc.
Civil and Structural Engineering
Shen Milsom Wilke
Fisher Marantz Stone
Faithful + Gould
Cost Estimator