December 19, 2014

Year in Architecture 2012: Exquisite Exteriors

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The East New Orleans Regional Library is one of four new branches replacing those lost to Hurricane Katrina. Going for sustainability, it features fixed exterior sun screens, reflective white surface roofing, dark-sky exterior lights, and low-E tinted windows. CREDITS: Gould Evans Affiliates, P.A., architect; photo, Michael Palumbo.

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The trifecta of library spaces is provided by the William O. Lockridge/Bellevue Neighborhood Library branch of the District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL). The tri-level library, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a bold color palette, incorporates three raised pavilions that extend off a central core, creating a covered outdoor patio. CREDITS: Wiencek & Associates in Partnership with Adjaye Associates, architects; photo, ©Eric Taylor,

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Where for art thou, Romeoville? Illinois’s Romeoville Branch Library, part of the White Oak Library District, did its renovation to the nines, with a “soaring” south-facing entry pavilion, a new exterior children’s terrace, new perimeter fascia, and updated lighting. CREDITS: Dewberry, architect and photo.

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At nearly 30,000 square feet, the new Los Gatos Library, CA, imagined as “a lantern in the forest,” features light-colored materials on the roof and plaza, a large children’s wing and a pop-out teen space that cantilevers over the front plaza, and a bioswale. CREDITS: Noll & Tam Architects, architect; photo, ©David Wakely Photography.

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Having achieved Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, the Patrick Heath Public Library, Boerne, TX, moved outdoors with its screened-in porch and large lawn used for programming and quiet reading. It also incorporated native plantings and a high-performance irrigation stormwater detention basin. CREDITS: OCO Architects, architect; photo ©Dror Baldinger.

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Bette-Lee Fox About Bette-Lee Fox

Bette-Lee Fox ( is Managing Editor, Library Journal.

Celebrating her 43rd year with Library Journal, Bette-Lee also edits LJ’s Video Reviews column, six times a year Romance column, and e-original Romance reviews, which post weekly as LJ Xpress Reviews.