Vanderbilt University: Eskind Biomedical Library

Nashville, TN

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  • Owner/Developer

    Vanderbilt University

  • Architect

    Davis Brody Bond

  • GC

    Turner Construction Company

  • Completion


  • Building Type


  • Program

    80,000 sqft

  • Façade Area

    A 50 ft vertical span facade featuring custom AESS truss systems with integral glass glazing maximizes transparency

  • Glass

    Standard 1 inch insulated





  • Library Building Award, AIA: Alabama, 1999


Architect Davis Brody Bond wanted to utilize the emergent facade technologies of Europe for the library facility at Vanderbilt University, and it ultimately became one of the very first applications in the United States. The Eskind Biomedical Library facade is supported by a hybrid truss system consisting of custom AESS vertical lattice trusses spaced 14 feet on center. The outer truss chords consist of 2 inch by 4 inch steel tubes with inner members of 2 inch diameter tube. The trusses are internally stabilized by crossing 3/8 inch diameter stainless steel tension rods. The trusses are laterally braced with a horizontal configuration of tension rods.

Sets of 2 inch by 4 inch horizontal steel tubes span between the outer truss chords and intermediate vertical members, creating a 7 x 3.5 foot exterior grid of flat, high tolerance steel. The glazing system is integral with this steel face of the truss system. Removing the redundancy of a structural system and add-on curtainwall system contributed to the project’s economy and transparency. This same technology has since been used by Enclos in many diverse applications.