Hofstra University will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the Axinn Library on November 1, 2017 with a symposium designed to celebrate the library’s rich architecture.
The Axinn Library building opened in 1967 and is an award-winning example of the Brutalist style. A major feature of Brutalism is incorporating the construction of a building into its design. Axinn, for example, has exposed concrete, steel and waffle ceilings.
“The Axinn Library building, along with its revolutionary partner, the Unispan, unites the campus as a hub for the academic experience,” said Sarah McCleskey, Head of Resource and Collection Services. “The towers of North Campus are connected physically and symbolically with the academic buildings of South Campus. The library stands in the center, an imposing concrete structure designed to house information and foster learning.”
The symposium is presented by the Hofstra Cultural Center and the Hofstra University Library, and will be held in Hofstra’s Guthart Cultural Center Theater on the first floor of the Axinn Library on South Campus. This event is free and open to the public, however registration is required. The event schedule features:
9:45-10 a.m. Welcome and introductions with Neil H. Donahue, Ph.D., vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs; and Howard Graves, director of library and information services.
10-10:15 a.m. Historical background on The Axinn Library, led by Geri Solomon, assistant dean for special collections.
10:15-10:45 a.m. A look back with Professor Herb Deutsch, who will reminisce on time when the library was being built.
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Keynote address by London-based art director and graphic designer, Peter Chadwick, who will also serve as scholar-in-residence throughout the day and teach a Master Class in the music business program. Chadwick worked at Creation Records, where he designed for chart-topping bands including Primal Scream and Spiritualized. After setting up his own studio in 1996, he masterminded campaigns for major artists including Groove Armada, Fatboy Slim, Cream and Hed Kandi. Chadwick runs the popular This Brutal House twitter account and is a champion of Brutalist architecture. His recent book This Brutal World (Phaidon, 2016) has been described as “a beautifully curated visual manifesto” for Brutalism.
1:30-2:30 p.m. Yankee Brutalism with Architectural Historian Brian Sirman, whose scholarship centers on the intersection of twentieth-century architecture and politics.
2:45-4:15 p.m. Panel with Alexandra Lange, architecture critic for Curbed; Peter Bentel, a partner in the studio of Bentel & Bentel, Architects/Planners AIA and a licensed architect; and Mark Pasnik, a founding principal of over,under, an internationally-recognized architecture and design practice. This panel will be moderated by Daniel Rubey, professor of library services at Hofstra.
The day will end with a reception at 4:15 p.m. in the ground floor lounge of the library. The gathering will feature artwork from students of Associate Professor James Lee in an exhibit called “Angles on Axinn.”
The 50th anniversary celebration officially kicked off in November 2016 with a contest to design the anniversary logo. Fine Arts sophomore Deanna Brusca was the winner with her unique interpretation of the structure’s Brutalist architecture. Her design can be seen on posters throughout the library, each displaying a different photo of the building and accompanied by a quote alluding to Brutalist architecture.