November 22, 2017

11 Additional Exemplars | New Landmark Libraries 2015 Honorable Mentions

The New Landmark Library Honorable Mentions share an emphasis on light, sustainability, and community connection that will inspire library projects nationwide.


ljx150902LBDnllBatteryPBattery Park City Library
New York Public Library | 2010
ARCHITECT: 1100 Architect

Adjacent to New York City’s financial district, Battery Park City is a rapidly changing neighborhood facing an influx of young parents and constantly shifting mixed-use development. Adapting to these demographics is central to NYPL’s renovated branch, which brings ample lighting and expanded family space to a small but versatile storefront branch. Clear sight lines and a signature staircase provide a sense of flow and purpose to this LEED Gold–certified building. Photo by Michael Moran/Otto.


ljx150902LBDnllBeaverbrookBeaverbrook Library
Ottawa Public Library | Ontario, Canada | 2014
ARCHITECT: Moriyama & Teshima Architects

The original idea behind the Ottawa West District Library, or the Beaverbrook Library, was to renovate the existing building, but after looking it over, the library thought it best to demolish the older section while renovating the newer one. The library is part of a series of buildings including a community center, an arena, a senior center, and a high school. The branch caters to the varied demographics of the surrounding community by “creating light-filled public spaces, ample seating and study areas of all types, and interconnected spaces that promote dialog and a sense of belonging,” according to its submission. A beautiful new highlight is the glazed façade that welcomes all visitors and incorporates native elements of the community. Photo by Younes Bounhair & Amanda Large/Doublespace Photography


ljx150902LBDnllBillingsBillings Public Library
Main Library | Montana | 2014
ARCHITECT: Will Bruder Partners

The newly constructed main branch of the Billings Public Library is truly a work of art. A beautiful two-story lobby greets guests with all the facets that are Montana. The lobby features both natural and human-made elements to create an open, welcoming space. In a sense, this library was able to bring the outdoors to the inside, helping to make each visit feel like an adventure in the state’s plains or mountains. This library—also featuring a native plant series, water harvesting, and a plethora of recycled materials—is awaiting its LEED Platinum certification. Photo courtesy of Will Bruder Partners


East Branch
ljx150902LBDnllMilwaukeeMilwaukee Public Library | 2014
ARCHITECT: HGA Architects & Engineers

Though built on the same site as its previous incarnation, Milwaukee Public Library’s (MPL) new East Branch has a whole new vision. Ninety-nine apartments sit atop the building, part of a mixed-use development that connects the library to residents and the neighborhood’s vibrant retail and transit corridor. As part of its MPL 2020 plan, MPL is taking the lead in this growing national trend. The East Branch is the second mixed-use development in the system, and more are planned. The library space also connects to the community with interior and exterior public art by local artists. Photo by Darris Lee Harris


ljx150902LBDnllFortYorkFort York Branch Library
Toronto Public Library | Ontario, Canada | 2014
ARCHITECT: KPMB Architects

Situated in a newly developing Toronto neighborhood, the Fort York Branch Library is collocated with a residential tower and park. Literary artwork created by writer and poet Margaret Atwood from her book The Journals of Susanna Moodie provides both creative inspiration and a nod to the historical significance of the locale, which was a battleground in the War of 1812. In order to grow with the neighborhood, the core, workrooms, and enclosed labs were stacked off-center. This progressive design opens the rest of the library for growth and enables spatial changes as needed. Photo ©Tom Arban


ljx150902LBDnllGonzalesRodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library
Denver Public Library | 2014
ARCHITECT: studiotrope Design Collective

This building was designed with a guiding principle: the library as “greenhouse,” an incubator for growth. This concept grew out of months of community conversations, as well as from the library’s dedication to celebrating the diversity of each unique neighborhood in which its branches are located. Every aspect of the design is meant to reflect its community, from a name that honors an important local and national Chicano activist, to the market segmentation analysis that informed the layout, to the brightly colored façade that represents the neighborhood’s many cultures. For a community that previously had to cross a highway for library services, the bright new branch is a much-appreciated opportunity to learn and grow. Photo by Joseph Montalbano


ljx150902LBDnll21CLibrary 21c
Pikes Peak Library District | Colorado Springs | 2014
ARCHITECT: Humphries Poli Architects

Most people would have seen this long-vacant 112,000 square foot office building as just another example of urban blight. The Pikes Peak Library District saw it instead as an opportunity to create an entirely new library space. The existing open plan and ample number of meeting room spaces enabled the planning team to “upcycle” the building into a space designed for collaboration, creative Making, and practical skill development, balancing traditional library services with a renewed focus on community activity. Photo by Paul Brokering


ljx150902LBDnllTidewaterTidewater Community College/City of Virginia Beach Joint-Use Library | 2013
ARCHITECT: Carrier Johnson Culture, RRMM Architects (Architect of Record), and  ANDERSON BRULÉ ARCHITECTS INC. (Interior Designer/Feasibility Study Architect)

Designed as a rich, technologically driven social environment, the Tidewater Community College/City of Virginia Beach library literally and figuratively breaks down barriers to learning. By building a joint-use public and academic library, citizens and students alike can learn, grow, and create in the library’s open glass “crystal” bays. The LEED Gold–certified building harvests daylight with a clerestory “light reflector” and a north-facing glass façade and incorporates automatic lighting control. This tactic is not only sustainable but adds beauty and delight, offering expansive views of the surrounding area to 90 percent of the regularly occupied spaces. (For more on this library, see “Serving Two Masters,” p. 1ff. of the Spring 2015 issue of Library by Design.—Ed.) Photo by Craig McClure/City of Virginia Beach


ljx150902LBDnllWalkerWalker Library
Hennepin County Library | Minneapolis | 2014
ARCHITECT: VJAA

After almost 30 years underground, this reimagined library is now a visible civic landmark on one of the busiest corners in the city of Minneapolis. With fantastic foot traffic thanks to the nearby park and transit center, light is an important feature of the space. Input gathered from the community emphasized the desire for a strong daytime and nighttime street presence. Six light monitors, dubbed “Skycubes” by the project architects, bring daylight into the library space. Active reading and study areas as well as quiet reading spaces all have a view to the outdoors. There’s also a 24-space parking garage tucked underneath the building. Photo ©Paul Crosby


ljx150902LBDnllWarrensvilleWarrensville Heights Branch Library
Cuyahoga County Public Library | Ohio | 2012
ARCHITECT: HBM Architects

The Warrensville Heights Branch Library was the first branch of many in the Cuyahoga County Public Library system to undergo new designs, renovations, or updates. This branch was used to collect and test ideas of what would work for changes to the other facilities. This LEED Silver–certified library features transparent yet color-coded areas to help guide guests with ease upon entrance. The design makes use of geothermal wells, storm water collection, and lighting strategies that bring natural light to the center. The library is also collocated with the YMCA, and the two entities work together to make the most of programming, taking care not to duplicate, so as to offer many exciting choices to the community. Photo ©Kevin G. Reeves


ljx150902LBDnllWolfCreekWolf Creek Branch Library
Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System | 2014
ARCHITECT: Leo A. Daly, Inc.

Is a community complete without a library? The residents of the Wolf Creek community didn’t think so and fully embraced the opportunity to shape the plans for a library in their south Fulton County neighborhood. Residents asked for, and received, an iconic library building that is recognizable and distinctive—set apart from the “strip mall architecture” formerly associated with the area. Sustainably designed to meet LEED Silver certification criteria, the building salvaged existing hardwoods and provides views to nature, bringing the outdoors in to create light-filled spaces for all to enjoy. Photo by Rion Rizzo

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