November 18, 2017

James Branch Cabell Library | New Landmark Libraries 2016 Winner

The updated James Branch Cabell Library at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), designed by Shepley Bulfinch, took inspiration from the original midcentury modern design and used it to transform the library into a campus jewel, embracing the school’s strengths in the arts. As one judge noted, the design was “executed with a very skillful hand.” Seeking to balance historic preservation with modern needs and heighten the library’s placement in a dense urban area, the firm reinterpreted many elements of the old building.

Learning Life Cycle | New Landmark Libraries 2016

The 2016 New Landmark Libraries highlight academic libraries that are setting the standard for both new construction and renovations. These five winners and three honorable mentions inspire by illustrating the creativity, innovation, and imagination that can spring from even the most modest budget. The trends, ideas, and methods provide inspiration for other projects and efforts, large or small.

Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons | New Landmark Libraries 2016 Winner

When the library at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI, was built in the late 1960s, the student population was 5,000. Today that number is closer to 25,000 and the university has embraced a collaborative culture that fosters innovation. The Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons gives students control over their environment to a degree rarely seen.

The 2015 New Landmarks: These 22 public library buildings set a high bar | Editorial

Five years ago, a burning question evolved into what is now the ongoing New Landmark Libraries (NLL) project. Often in conversation with librarians on the verge of construction, I was asked which libraries should be on a “must see” list. Beyond the go-to, big name projects, we at LJ had our favorites recently opened, but our lists were personal and not comprehensive. Hence, the New Landmark Libraries. The national competition was designed to bring forward the excellence in library buildings for celebration, as a tour planner for those approaching a capital project, and as a road map for the next generation of libraries still not even on the boards.

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.

San Diego Central Library | New Landmark Libraries 2015 Winner

Iconic. That word comes up again and again in descriptions of the soaring new San Diego Central Library. A lattice dome tops the warm wood and concrete nine-story structure, a striking presence in the city’s skyline. It is a fitting tribute to the 30 years of effort and almost unprecedented philanthropy from community members that went into creating the landscape-changing new library.

Cedar Rapids Public Library | New Landmark Libraries 2015 Winner

Iowa’s Cedar Rapids Public Library faced disaster in 2008: a “500-year flood” that ruined homes, businesses, and the main, downtown branch of the public library. The library was filled with eight feet of water, which damaged the building and materials beyond repair. A group with a vision saw the silver lining and seized the opportunity to plan for a new library based on three main ideas.

Lawrence Public Library | New Landmark Libraries 2015 Winner

The Lawrence Public Library, KS, knows how to put a new twist on an old idea. Instead of tearing down or cobbling together an addition to its dark 1970s building, it encapsulated the entire existing structure inside a gleaming new one.

Bayview Linda Brooks-Burton Branch Library | New Landmark Libraries 2015 Winner

Reflecting the trend of flexible, mixed-use development shaping its own neighborhood, the Bayview Linda Brooks-Burton Branch of the San Francisco Public Library is a stunning example of how a library can honor a community’s history while laying out a path for its continued growth.

Jasper Place Branch | New Landmark Libraries 2015 Winner

When the City of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, had an opportunity to rebuild the Jasper Place Branch of the Edmonton Public Library, (EPL) it aspired to create an open and memorable presence that considered the question: “What is a library that has no books?” In response to this provocative inquiry, the new branch provides the established suburban neighborhood with a new social heart. While the resulting library does not literally lack a print collection, compared to the library it replaces, it is twice as big yet holds fewer titles than the old building. Architectural features, such as extra wide stairs, pull double duty in this new building—serving both functional and social needs by offering space for patrons to sit.