|As the cornerstone of the redevelopment of this unincorporated community, the new 22,000 SF library provides an array of services to local families as well as a sense of pride to the residents. As the only library in this region, it is anticipated to be the hub of activities of this rural community.
The project includes the initial master plan, architectural design, and construction administration for the new facility. The library, which is anticipated to achieve LEED Gold certification, features reading rooms for children and teens, an outdoor amphitheater, a public multi-purpose meeting room, study areas, and self-checkout. Sustainable features such as landscaping using native materials to conserve water and a full array of photovoltaic panels have been incorporated. The building incorporates state-of-the-art library technology and colorful interiors to create spaces residents of all ages will want to use often.
In an area where approximately 90% of all school children qualify for free or reduced lunches, the library is not just a resource, it is a necessity. The library offers traditional reading programs and services expected from a library, but it has also been programmed and designed to help specifically address the needs of this underserved community. In addition to providing a haven of literature and learning, the library also serves as a resource for individuals searching for jobs.
The library has been designed to fit the scale of the rural residential community. The entrance to the facility is clearly identified by an arcaded canopy leading to a lobby that separates the library and the public multi-purpose room. The library embraces the outdoor amphitheater space to the north with storefront windows and high clerestory windows to bring natural light deep into the space. Along the window spaces are areas where patrons can sit and read while having views into the outdoor garden space. The children and teen areas are located off the linear spine as specially designed rooms for programmed activities.
The plaster exterior is accentuated by a stone veneer that is brought into the interior space. The use of stone for wall surfaces and columns, and wood for the ceilings brings the warmth and scale of a home into the library. The use of these materials and detailing were carefully selected to encourage the community to utilize the library as an extension of home life.
For a rural community in search of a social gathering place, the design solution of an environmentally sensitive learning center that incorporates progressive technology gives hope to the region by not only acting as an doable example, but as a catalyst for future growth and development for the entire region. That is truly the key goal of this project.