This is an expanded version of the Architecture Issue that appeared in print November 15, 2012.
Left opener image: The Fountaindale Public Library District, Bolingbrook, IL. Architect: Nagle Hartray Architecture.
Photo: ©2012 Balloggphoto.com.
Right opener image: The Renner Academic Library & Learning Resources, Elgin Community College, IL. Architect: Dewberry. Photo: ©2012 Balloggphoto.com.
This year’s library architectural landscape encompasses combination spaces, meticulous renovations and restorations, and innovative thinking in the reuse of existing structures. The 107 public library capital projects and 19 academic buildings completed between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012, present fascinating and functioning responses to library service needs that are shaking up the design waterfront.
A number of libraries have gone “open concept,” featuring an atrium around which service areas revolve. The new Visitacion Valley Branch Library in San Francisco has a central atrium and arched entryways, while the Spencer Road Branch of St. Charles City–County Library District, MO, has a two-story atrium, a gas fireplace, and a water feature in what it is referring to as its Community Commons. The new Lyman Beecher Brooks Library at Norfolk State University, VA, introduced a three-story atrium along with a circular staircase, glass curtain walls, mobile service desks, and tables that are curved, waved, or elliptical. Malibu Library, CA, has retractable glass walls that open the inside space to the outside reading garden.
Combination spaces in partnership with civic institutions keep the library at the center of the community. The Ocotillo Library and Workforce Literacy Center, Phoenix, provides one access point for the Phoenix Workforce Connection, while the Fairview Park Branch, OH, incorporated a Job & Career Center on the second floor.
The new Millcreek Community Center Library in Salt Lake City joins with a senior center and a café in a building that is state-of-the-art. Several public libraries invoke academic terminology and a unified vibe in referring to their locations as a civic campus. The new West Jordan Library and Viridian Event Center, UT, home to an outdoor amphitheater, overlaps municipal and recreational spaces. Bifold doors connect interior library areas with the outdoor event zones. The Fountaindale Public Library in Bolingbrook, IL, was conceived as a dream environment within its “civic reality.” The South County Library in Roanoke, VA, is on a 26-acre parcel of land situated across from an elementary school, adjacent to athletic fields, and accessible by 1100 miles of pedestrian and bike trails. Even the new Chicago Theological Seminary Learning Commons is integrated with chapels and academic and administrative centers.
The renovated Ortega Branch in San Francisco is at the center of a civic plaza that resides near a playground and three schools. The Loveland Public Library, CO, has achieved Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification in its civic center locale. The Ramsey County Library @ New Brighton, MN, also calls a community center collaboration home, inviting patrons to enjoy its fireplace and comfortable reading room.
Talk about partnerships, the Kent Branch of Toledo-Lucas County Public Library transformed into a Library/Technology Access Center through a collaboration with 56 community-focused partners, e.g., Mayor Michael Bell, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, and a dozen local businesses and foundations. Also, it revved up a cybermobile tech classroom on wheels.
Focusing on our younger users, a creative children’s space took center stage at the renovated Farmingdale Public Library, NY, with the installation of a 500 gallon saltwater aquarium. The children’s wing at Los Gatos Library, CA, includes a pop-out teen room that is cantilevered over a plaza, providing the teens with great views.
The innovation sphere rocked with Oakland’s Rockridge Library Teen Zone, the 9800 square foot teen space at Central Arkansas Library System in Little Rock, the Dansville Public Library, NY, Teen Mezzanine, and New York’s Sachem Public Library in Holbrook with its desTEENation.
Academic libraries are doing their bit to offer amenities and flexibility for their clientele. Renner Academic Library at Elgin Community College, IL, focused on making connections through social spaces and lounge seating and connecting with nature through courtyard views that make the most of natural light. The Pattee and Paterno Library at Penn State has a demountable wall system that is easily scalable and reconfigurable.
The Richard J. Daley Library at University of Illinois at Chicago offers an IDEA (Information, Data, Expertise, Access) Commons for high-tech collaborations.
The Levi Watkins Learning Center at Alabama State University in Montgomery incorporates open flexible learning spaces with a wide range of exhibit options. A sunken outdoor courtyard with media walls at the Yale University Center for Science & Social Science Information combines three formerly separate spaces.
Innovate while renovating
Many of this year’s projects are targeting LEED certification for sustainability or have already achieved it—Topanga Library, CA, Gold; West Hollywood Library, CA, Gold; Manoa Public Library, HI, Gold; Patrick Heath Public Library, Boerne, TX, Gold; and Franklin Avenue Library, Des Moines, reaching a LEED Platinum rating. The Old Town Library in Fort Collins, CO, has carried through on its dream of net-zero energy usage.
The “greenest” library, however, is often the one created from an existing structure and making adaptive reuse of that building. The Lincoln Branch in Peoria, IL, is a restored 1911 Carnegie building, plus a 12,000 square foot addition that features a hot-air balloon theme in the story time room.
Major building projects have brought New Orleans back in part with four new libraries that replaced facilities destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The Rosa F. Keller Library and Community Center project managed to restore a historic bungalow and add a library space. The Stone County Library in Crane, MO, is the result of the remodel of a 100-year-old historic-district structure, and the Washington Public Library, MO, reconnected two floors of what was formerly the library and the police department. A new central staircase with glass railings, clerestory windows, a new entryway, and a children’s garden/plaza update the facility. The Sherburne Public Library, NY, project restored a 1911 Carnegie building that was originally designed by Edward Lippincott Tilton.
Problem-solving while preserving
After converting a 10,000 square foot chain restaurant, the Union Township Branch in Cincinnati established laptop “touchdown areas” so patrons can make use of the building’s Wi-Fi service. The Allendale County Library, SC, was an auto-parts store, and the Otay Ranch Branch Library in Chula Vista, CA, has a three-year “rent free” lease on its former pizza restaurant shopping center site. The Mesa County Palisade Branch, Grand Junction, CO, started out as a lumber yard, but the most impressive conversion project has to be the McAllen Public Library, TX, which transformed an abandoned Walmart store into a 124,000 square foot library, the biggest single-level library in the country.
With movable furnishings, transportable stacks, and flexible configurations, this year’s library buildings were designed for long-term service and room to grow. Creativity, innovation, and a big wave to the future.
A4 Architects, Carbondale, CO; 970-963-6760; www.a4arc.com
Adjaye Associates, New York; 212-965-8420; www.adjaye.com
Aguirre Roden, Inc., Austin, TX; 512-478-3020; www.aguirreroden.com
Alley Poyner Macchietto, Omaha; 402-341-1544; www.alleypoyner.com
Apicella + Bunton LLC, New Haven, CT; 203-777-2121; www.apicellabunton.com
arcari + iovino architects, Little Ferry, NJ; 201-641-0600; www.aiarchs.com
Architecnics, Inc., Quincy, IL; 217-222-0554; www.architechnicsinc.com
Architectural Nexus, Inc., Salt Lake City; 801-924-5000; wwwarchnexus.com
Architectural Resource Group, Fort Collins, CO; 970-484-0124
Architectural Resources Group, Inc., San Francisco; 415-421-1680; www.argsf.com
Architecture Plus Inc., Honolulu; 808-945-2311
Baker, Bednar, Snyder & Associates, Warren, OH; 330-856-7222; bakerbednarsnyder.com
BCWH, Richmond; 804-788-4774; www.bcwh.com
Beatty, Harvey, Coco Architects, LLP, Hauppauge, NY; 631-300-1010; www.bhc-architects.com
Beatty, Harvey, Coco Architects, LLP, New York; 212-213-1339; www.bhc-architects.com
Belford Watkins Group, Fort Collins, CO; 970-212-1242; bwgarch.com
Benjamin Design Collaborative, PC, Ames, IA; 515-232-0888; www.benjamin-design.com
BHDP Architecture, Cincinnati; 513-271-45202; www.bhdp.com
Bleigh Construction, Hannibal, MO; 573-221-2247; www.bleighconstruction.com
Bostwick Design Partnership, Cleveland; 216-621-7900; www.bostwickdesign.com
Buehrer Group Architecture & Engineering, Inc., Maumee, OH; 419-893-9021; buehrergroup.com
Carpet One, Modesto, CA; 209-523-5664
Carlson, West, Povandra, Omaha; 402-551-1500; www.cwparchitects.com
CAS Architecture (Chad Alexander Smith), Grayson, GA; 678-646-7736; www.casarc.com
CBLH Design, Cleveland; 440-243-2000; cblhdesign.com
Larry Chilese, Lincoln, NE; 402-474-6885
Clark Nexsen, Norfolk, VA; 757-455-5800; www.clarknexsen.com
Colley Architects, Blacksburg, VA; 540-953-2724; www.colleyarch.com
Collins Cooper Carusi, Atlanta; 404-873-0001;collinscoopercarusi.com
Colome & Associates, Inc., West Palm Beach, FL; 561-833-9147; www.colome-architect.com
Cornerstone Architecture, Saint Peters, MO; 636-244-4045; www.cornerstonearchitecture.com
Crafton Tull, Oklahoma City; 405-787-6270; www.craftontull.com
Craig Gaulden Davis, Greenville, SC; 864-242-0761; www.cgdarch.com
Crawford & Stearns, Syracuse, NY; 315-471-2162; www.crawfordstearns.com
Janice Davis Design LLC, Brooklyn; 917-520-7354; www.janicedavisdesign.com
Joe DeVorss Construction, Spickard, MO 64679; 660-635-0585
Dewberry Architects Inc., Elgin, IL; 847-695-5840; www.dewberry.com
durkin + durkin, llc, Phoenix; 602-254-8644; durkin-durkin.com
Ellis, Ricket & Associates, Valdosta, GA; 229-242-3556; www.eraarchitects.com
Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, New Orleans; 504-561-8686; eskewdumezripple.com
Farnsworth Group, Peoria, IL; 309-689-9888; www.f-w.com
FEH Associates, Inc., Sioux City, IA; 712-252-3889; www.fehassociates.com
Ford3 Architects, LLC, Princeton, NJ; 609-924-0043; www.ford3.com
Gant Brunnett Architects, Baltimore; 410-234-8444; www.gba-architects.com
Gensler, Boston; 617-619-5744; www.gensler.com/boston
Gensler, Houston, TX; 713-844-0000; www.gensler.com
Gkk Works, Pasadena, CA; 626-666-6906; gkkworks.com
Gould Evans, San Francisco; 415-503-1411; www.gouldevans.com
Gould Evans Affiliates, P.A., Kansas City, MO; 816-931-6655; www.gouldevans.com
Group 4 Architecture, Research + Planning, Inc., South San Francisco; 650-871-0709; www.g4arch.com
H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, New York; 212-677-6030; www.h3hc.com
Harley Ellis Devereaux, Chicago; 312-951-8863; harleyellisdevereaux.com
Harvard Jolly Architecture, St. Petersburg, FL; 727-896;4611; www.harvardjolly.com
hatch ulland + owen, Austin, TX; 512-474-8548; huoarchitects.com
HBM Architects, Cleveland; 216-241-1100; hbmarchitects.com
HGA Architects & Engineers, Minneapolis; 612-758-4000; www.hga.com
Calvin L. Hinz, Architects, PC, Elkhorn, NE; 402-291-6941; www.clarchitects.com
HMC, Ontario, CA; 909-989-9979; hmcarchitects.com
Horn Architects, Washington, MO; 636-239-0309; www.hornarchitects.com
Humphries Poli Architects, Denver; 303-607-0040; www.hparch.com
Hutteball & Oremus, Kirkland, WA; 425-828-8948; www.hoarch.com
jdms, inc., Sumter, SC; 803-773-3318; email@example.com
Johnson Favaro, Culver City, CA; 310-559-5720; johnsonfavaro.com
JRCA Architects, Inc., Salt Lake City; 801-533-2100; www.jrcadesign.com
KA Oldham Design Inc., Newnan, GA; 770-683-9170; www.kaod.com
KBA, Inc., Cincinnati; 513-752-7800; www.kbainc.com
Klepper, Hahn & Hyatt, Syracuse, NY; 305-446-9205; www.khhpc.com
Klingner Associates, Quincy, IL; 217-223-3670; www.klingner.com
LaBella Associates, PC, Rochester, NY; 585-454-6110; labellapc.com
Lee Ledbetter & Associates, New Orleans; 504-566-9669; www.leeledbetter.com
Lerner Ladds Bartels, Pawtucket, RI; 401-421-7715; llbarch.com
LPA Architecture, Irvine, CA; 949-261-1001; www.lpainc.com
LWPB Architecture, Oklahoma City; 405-722-7270; www.lwpb.com
McGEE DESIGNHOUSE, Inc. (Melinda McGee), Carmel, IN; 317-502-6763; www.mcgeedesignhouse.com
MHTN Architects, Inc., Salt Lake City; 701-595-6700; www.mhtn.com
Moody Nolan (Mark R. Beebe), Indianapolis; 317-916-4082; www.moodynolan.com
Moseley Architects, Virginia Beach; 757-368-2800; www.moseleyarchitects.com
MS&R Ltd. (Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd.), Minneapolis; 612-375-0336; msrltd.com
Nagle Hartray Architecture, Chicago; 312-425-1000; www.naglehartray.com
NHB Group, LLC, Birmingham, AL; 205-264-9988; www.nhbgroup.net
Noll & Tam Architects, Berkeley, CA; 510-542-2200; www.nollandtam.com
OCO Architects, San Antonio; 210-829-1737; www.ocoarchitects.com
Office Interiors & Design, Lincoln, NE; 402-484-7500; www.oidinc.com
OZ Architecture, Denver; 303-861-5704; www.ozarch.com
Pacific Design Associates, Inc., Modesto, CA; 209-557-2288; www.pacdesign-aia.com
Paragon Architecture Inc., Springfield, MO; 417-885-0002; www.paragon-architecture.com
Paulett Taggart Architects, San Francisco; 415-956-1116; ptarc.com
Perry Dean Rogers | Partners Architects, Boston; 617-423-0100; www.perrydean.com
Poepping Stone Bach & Associates, Quincy, IL; 217-223-4605; www.psba.com
John Portman & Associates, Atlanta; 404-614-5555; www.portmanusa.com
Precision Planning, Inc., Lawrenceville, GA 30046; 770-338-8178; www.ppi.us
rich ä rd+bauer architecture, llc, Phoenix; 602-264-1955; www.richard-bauer.com
Riemenschneider Design/Quinn Evans Architects, Ann Arbor, MI; 734-663-5888; www.quinnevans.com
Robert Ehmet Hayes & Associates, Fort Mitchell, KY; 859-331-3121; firstname.lastname@example.org
RQAW Corporation (Mark R. Beebe), Indianapolis; 317-815-7200; www.rqaw.com
San Francisco Department of Public Works Building Design and Construction, San Francisco; 415-554-4829; sfdpw.org
Scott | Edwards Architecture LLP, Portland, OR; 503-226-3617; www.seallp.com
SHKS Architects, Seattle; 206-675-9151; www.shksarchitects.com
Slattery & Associates Architects Planners, Boca Raton, FL; 561-392-3848; www.slatteryarchitectscom
Daniel Sloan, Des Moines; 515-255-3939; www.designdsm.com
Stocks Mann Architects, PLC, Little Rock, AR; 501-370-9207; www.allisonarchitects.com
Studiotrope Design Collective, Denver; 303-308-1144; www.studiotrope.com
Tappe Associates, Inc., Boston; 617-451-0200; www.tappe.com
Tom Eliot Fisch, San Francisco; 415-391-7918; www.tomeliotfisch.com
Van Dyke Architects, Cleveland; 216-566-5455; www.vandykearchitects.com
Vance Hunt Libraries, Grand Prairie, TX; 972-641-9598; www.vancehuntlibraries.com
Weinstein AU Architects, Seattle; 206-443-8606; www.weinsteinau.com
Wiencek & Associates, Washington, DC; 202-349-0742; www.wiencek-associates.com
Wilkins Hinrichs Stober Architects, LLC, Kearney, NE; 308-237-5787; www.whsarchitects.biz/index.html
David Woodhouse Architects, Chicago; 312-943-3120; www.davidwoodhouse.com
WTWArchitects, Pittsburgh; 412-321-0550; www.wtwarchitects.com