Phillips Exeter Academy, Class of 1945 Library

The Class of 1945 Library occupies a central and cherished place on the Exeter campus. Designed by Louis Kahn, the Library is widely honored as one America’s most significant 20th century buildings. 

ABA’s Library Master Plan set the strategy for the Library’s preservation, renewal, and revitalization. The Commons – a student-center for collaborative study and interaction – was ABA’s first library project, a pilot for prototypical furnishings, lighting, and finishes, now Library-wide standards. Color is introduced with new carpeting and fabrics, with new millwork that takes cues from Kahn’s original details. Furnishings and bookcase units are reconfigurable for study, group readings, films, presentations, and parties. 

ABA’s ongoing work creates new group study and academic support spaces to serve a changing pedagogy. It incorporates a new special collections and archival center, and replaces all building systems. These changes will provide the Academy with a collaborative academic and community center while honoring the building’s architectural heritage. Preserving an icon, the new design is fresh, welcoming, and a spirited companion to its remarkable setting.

Exeter, New Hampshire