Oregon Public Library

Oregon, Wisconsin
  • Client
    Village of Oregon
  • SQ. FT.
  • Budget
  • Market
  • Year

The new Oregon Public Library adjacent to the Keller Alpine Meadows Park and Lerner Conservation Park replaces a downtown facility that was unable to expand in its prior location. The new 31,000-square-foot library re-defines services in the community through a design that embraces the natural surroundings of its park setting by creating both visual and physical connections.

To maximize views, the building is orientated north to south along the west edge of the conservancy. A light cream-city brick wraps around northwest and southeast corners lightly anchoring the building at its base. A dark board and baton on the second level nods to the materiality found on the farms, like the one that once operated at this site.

Windows on each elevation flood the space with natural light. By placing offices, study rooms, meeting spaces, and the community room on the west side of the building, public spaces throughout the open collection areas capitalize on sweeping views of the landscape.

In the first-floor children’s area, a lifted roof and windows on all three sides of the reading room create a sense of being projected into the landscape while simultaneously create quietude and cultivate curiosity. Also on the first floor, the young adult area is adjacent to the maker space. Separated from the typically louder areas on the first floor, a second-floor adult area has vaulted ceilings and an elevated view of the park.

The building focuses on connection not just with nature, but also with the community by providing open spaces to congregate as well as smaller areas for reflection and relaxation. It also physically connects to the community by serving as a new trailhead for the park through paved paths that also serve as a Story Walk, which displays rotating picture books.  A large patio facing the east view of the conservancy offers outdoor space for respite and relaxation.

The new library is now a hub where residents can gather to appreciate this community asset both inside and out.

Feasibility Study + Capital Campaign Support

The Oregon Public Library project began with a feasibility study. OPN Architects led visioning and programming exercises with the library, city, and community to develop design concepts to support a capital campaign for additional funding for the project. During these exercises, participants were asked a series of questions designed to generate responses that would give the design team a sense of how the Village of Oregon defines itself and its library. OPN also facilitated programming discussions with 11 focus groups ranging from seniors, home school educators, media specialists and chamber representatives. These conversations were an open dialogue with more 30 individuals about how their library currently supports their needs and obstacles they may experience, as well as also how a new library, its programming and its new spaces could enhance, grow and support cohesive partnerships for all.

The result was a concept for a welcoming library with flexible spaces for community events, meetings, outdoor areas, and programming that supports literacy, and life-long learning while integrating seamlessly into the surrounding neighborhood. The OPN team supported the capital campaign with graphic assets to raise funds for the new library. The campaign was successful and the project broke ground in November 2022.

Similar Projects

Back to Portfolio