Can your library afford new branches or even operate existing facilities? Many libraries still struggle to meet increasing demand with flat or falling budgets and outmoded facilities.
The trend toward putting public libraries in retail spaces such as big-box stores, malls, strip centers, and main street buildings shows no sign of slowing. The McAllen Public Library, TX, main library, which opened in late 2011 in a former Wal-Mart, garnered many awards, including the coveted American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honor Award for Interior Architecture. McAllen residents got a lot of library compared with what they would have gotten building new, reduced their impact on the environment, and turned a blight into a flourishing center of community life.
After a successful launch of the inaugural New Landmark Libraries (NLL) in 2011 focusing on public libraries, LJ is proud to present its second list of iconic NLL buildings. This time the spotlight is on academic libraries. Our five NLLs, plus two honorable mentions, will inspire and inform any building project.
New Landmark Libraries 2012 #4: South Mountain Community Library, Maricopa County Community College District/Phoenix Public Library
Materials and finishes engender a sense of lightness and fun. Playful, inventive, and, sometimes, surprising, the designs turned straightforward materials, like copper, wood, glass, steel, aluminum, and acrylic, into anything but ordinary. Digitally printed skylight liners, laser-cut guardrails, and water jet–cut aluminum panels provide endless interest.
Columbia University’s new Science and Engineering Library (SEL) is the latest take on how libraries support science research and learning. Housed in a new state-of-the-art high-rise interdisciplinary laboratory building built over an existing ground-level gymnasium, this project required no additional footprint to accomplish its space goals.