Grimes Public Library

Grimes, Iowa

This new library for a small but rapidly growing community embraces the principles initially established as benchmarks for success. It will be a destination, community focused, flexible, transparent and inviting. The library is to be located on a newly developed site that has bike trails on its eastern edge, residential neighborhoods to the south, and arterial roadways to its north and west. Area for future growth is accommodated at the west, and the building and plaza push towards the road and bike path for both visibility and access, while creating a landscaped buffer to the south along the residential areas. The library and plaza are part of a larger plan to bring civic life, public engagement, and unique patron services to the community it serves, while also becoming a draw for the surrounding areas. The building is arranged as two bars with one bar housing all open flexible stack areas on both levels and the other housing more solid components, such as sub-dividable meeting rooms, a maker space, and staff functions. These two bars slide slightly past each other to create a large entry plaza that directly interacts with the indoor lobby and the multi-purpose room at level one, both of which are intended to open directly to the exterior. A second level occupiable roof terrace, accessed from upper level meeting rooms, offers another dynamic exterior space that relates to the plaza. Glazing wraps the perimeter of three facades, with clerestory to the south, ensuring the library is transparent and daylit prominently displaying its function and use. Large overhangs reach out to invite the public as well as protect the glazing. The entire library becomes a light-filled beacon in the evenings.

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