Waunakee Public Library

Waunakee, Wisconsin
  • Client
    City of Waunakee
  • SQ. FT.
  • Budget
  • Market
  • Year
  • 2022 • American Institute of Architects, Wisconsin Chapter
    Merit Award
  • 2020 • International Interior Design Association, Wisconsin Chapter
    Award of Excellence
  • 2020 • Commercial Design Awards, InBusiness Magazine
    Project of the Year and Best Development - Education

An abandoned brownfield site, paralleling Six Mile Creek and near to the village’s downtown historic Main Street District, was selected as the future home for Waunakee Public Library.

The tree-lined creek that meanders the entire village inspired the community’s vision for an environmental and recreational corridor. The form and placement of the library consists of two intersecting rectangular volumes primarily representing the library and a community hall. Vehicular circulation allows a through connection to local streets while avoiding a large centralized parking lot. A pedestrian bridge over the creek connects to overflow parking.

The new 40,000-square-foot library evolved from multiple visioning sessions with library representatives, Village officials, and community members. The resulting design provides for an open, flexible two-story structure that contains an abundance of community space, collaborative areas, dedicated children’s program spaces, meeting and study rooms. Using data and best practices gleaned from a portfolio of more than 40 public libraries, the design team refine the program to balance needs and wants within the village’s budget.

A central staircase connects the two-level library spaces and defines the primary circulation order. In lieu of circulation desks, checkout kiosk are provided for either staff assistance or self-checkout. A flexible community hall that accommodates 100 to 200 people and opens to an outdoor patio.

The timeless design with brick and stone cladding provides an abundance of natural light and views toward the creek and downtown beyond. A green roof and a solar array over the Community Hall and sets a standard for village’s mission as environmental stewards. Elevated from the recreation trail and complemented with enhanced creek edge and other landscape improvements, the library overlooks a new park-like setting appropriate to the role of a community’s public library.


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