University of South Carolina | Thomas Cooper Library


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University of South Carolina | Thomas Cooper Library

Columbia, South Carolina

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University of South Carolina | Thomas Cooper Library
Columbia, South Carolina

Service-Lines: Furniture, Technology

Products Used: Steelcase, Turnstone, Coalesse, Orangebox, Polyvision

For University of South Carolina's Thomas Cooper Library, there was a driving need to innovate with technology and provide inventive study areas and collaborative workspace for students. McWaters worked directly with the Student Government team and library staff to design a space that would be used to its fullest extent by the students. Students were involved in every single meeting and approved the layout, the furniture, and the finish selections.

Project Scope

The floor space covered 25,000 square feet with seating capacity of over 100 seats. The project required a reconfiguration of existing book stacks, new furniture, workspaces, and technological capabilities. The Thomas Cooper Library plan included collaborative settings for groups of varying sizes, study space for groups and individuals, meeting room pods, furniture products used as space dividers, and integration of technology.


The McWaters team worked to finalize the design from start to finish in less than two months and completed the install in 10 days over winter break. They developed large work spaces, living room-style seating, ranging from couches to bar height tables and stools for students to occupy while studying. Meeting room pods helped to break up the large open space while functioning as stand-alone private study rooms defined by their glass walls, temperature-controlled climate, and large television screens which can connect to cellphones, tablets, and laptops. With the addition of these new collaborative areas, additional power distribution was necessary to provide access to power in tables and lounge seating. This was achieved through the use of an under-carpet wireway.

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McWaters Lead Designer
Tanya Logan

McWaters Sales Lead
Bobby Nunn

McWaters ​Project Manager
Andrew Renaud

McWaters Executive Vice President
Ned Little

McWaters Operations Manager
Sam Waitzman