The American Institute of Architects, in conjunction with the American Library Association, just revealed the six winners of this year's Library Building Awards. With the role of libraries vastly evolving in the digital age, the awards also recognized the ability to adapt to changing demands and better serve its communities.
Austin Central Library; Austin, TX
Lake Flato + Shepley Bulfinch
Project excerpt: "A technologically rich hub for innovation and cultural intelligence, the Austin Central Library has created a framework for lifelong learning that bolsters a more resilient community. Situated in downtown Austin, Texas, where it overlooks Shoal Creek and Lady Bird Lake, the $120 million library has become a dominant civic presence and regular community gathering space."
Eastham Public Library; Eastham, MA
Oudens Ello Architecture
Project excerpt: "Recalling Cape Cod’s mid-century modern heritage, the Eastham Public Library in Eastham, Massachusetts, represents the juxtaposition of modern facility and historic artifact. Airy, warm, and overlooking one of the area’s many glacial kettle ponds, this new library is well-equipped to welcome patrons in this popular summer destination, where the population swells from about 5,000 to nearly 30,000 in the warmer months."
Hastings Public Library Renovation/Addition; Hastings, NE
The Clark Enersen Partners
Project excerpt: "This renovation and addition to the library serving Hastings, Nebraska, brings transparency and light to a 1962 building that was not aging gracefully. Once dark and dingy, the library has emerged as a beacon of education in the city’s downtown area."
Laurel Branch Library; Largo, MD
Grimm + Parker Architects
Project excerpt: "Aspiring to provide an environment that promotes learning and social interaction while lifting the human spirit, the Laurel Branch Library pivots around Emancipation Park, a unique historic site with deep roots in the African-American community in Laurel, Maryland. Referencing the past through textured stone materials, the library embraces the present with dynamic lines and bold forms, standing proudly as a beacon for the community."
Pico Branch Library; Santa Monica, CA
Koning Eizenberg Architecture, Inc.
Project excerpt: "A true community living room, Pico Branch Library in the heart of Santa Monica, California’s Virginia Avenue Park leverages its setting to encourage its use as both an educational resource and social gathering spot. The first new library built in the city in nearly 60 years, it was developed through an extensive community engagement and workshop process, during which the community’s desire to maximize green space quickly emerged."
Tulsa City-County Central Library; Tulsa, OK
MSR Design + Associate Architect (parking structure): Crafton Tull
Project excerpt: "A key piece in catalyzing the revitalization of Tulsa, Oklahoma’s struggling urban core, this project transformed a dilapidated structure and brusque civic plaza into a community jewel. Through an extensive design process that focused heavily on outreach and close collaboration with Tulsa’s leadership, it delivered a wave of public support for resurrecting a drivable, pedestrian-friendly street with increased access to the library and the civic buildings that surround it."
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