New Research Commons Gets a Name: The Edge

Architectural rendering of the Research Commons on the first floor of Bostock Library. Renovations will take place May-November 2014.
Architectural rendering of the renovated first floor of Bostock Library. Renovations will take place May-November 2014.

If you have visited Duke’s West Campus lately, you might have noticed that the first floor of Bostock Library is currently closed for renovations. The entire floor is being reconfigured into a new space that will allow the Libraries to meet the growing needs of interdisciplinary, team-based, and data-driven research at Duke. There’s an article about it in the latest issue of our library magazine, and you can read more about the project on our library website.

Throughout the planning phase of the project, we’ve tentatively been calling this space the “Research Commons,” for lack of a better name. Today, we’re pleased to announce that a better name has emerged. Allow us to introduce…

The Edge Logo

Why “The Edge”?

The overall goal of this renovation project is to create a new space that will allow Duke researchers and project teams to experiment with new ideas and approaches with experts, technology, and training available in close proximity. It should be the kind of space that invites discovery, experimentation, and collaboration. We needed a name that captured all of that in a succinct and memorable way.

The word “edge” suggests standing on the brink of something, or of being on the fringes or boundaries. It’s a place where different points of view or disciplinary approaches meet.

From a physical building layout perspective, it also makes a certain amount of sense. Just as the Link is in the middle of the library complex, The Edge is on the side that is furthest from the main academic quad.

Finally, there’s the subtle hint of gaining an advantage: The Edge is a place that will help you with your research or collaborative project.

To bring The Edge to life, the Libraries have been working with the architectural firm Shepley Bulfinch, the same firm that designed and built Bostock Library and the von der Heyden Pavilion in 2005, renovated Perkins Library between 2006 and 2008 (including the creation of the Link), and is directing the current renovation of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Few parts of Duke have been transformed so completely in recent years as the Libraries, and The Edge is just the latest proof of that.

We are looking forward to unveiling this attractive and innovative new destination in the heart of campus, which should be completed later this year by November or December. In January 2015, we will formally celebrate with a grand opening event. We hope you will join us at The Edge!