Kirkendall Public Library
Kirkendall Public Library was conceived of as part of a new development for a growing midwestern city. The vision for the development was to model a traditional town square. As such, it was important that the new building strike the appropriate civic tone. The design modernizes traditional proportion, massing and materials that lend a sense of endurance and permanence.
On axis with the commercial district and water features, the library anchors the town square. A two-story open lobby visually and physically connects interior and exterior, while also creating a space for community and civic events that can function in support of the library and meeting rooms.
The southwest-facing building’s long, narrow bars drive daylight deep into the floor plates. Overhangs and vertical fabric sun-shades help to avoid direct sunlight at the open collection spaces inside. More solid or enclosed areas of the building were pushed to the northeast exposure. Saw-tooth rooftop light monitors strategically facing north allow indirect light to spill into the library at both levels through two-story atriums that run at a cross-.
Second story bridges connect across the double-height public lobby. At the west end, stairs wrap around a children’s play area, where warm wood accents visually anchor the space. Similarly, city council chambers and public meeting rooms with the same wood finishes complete the east end. The asymmetric plan layout allows the possibility of a future wing to be added for City Hall that would balance the building layout.