Walpole Public Library in Walpole, Massachusetts by LLB Architects.
Credit: Courtesy LLB Architects
The design of the new 32,000 sf building uses traditional architectural textures, colors, and fundamentals of traditional architecture to respond to the New England context. The library program is organized around four masses encased in fiber cement panels which anchor the building’s entries. In between them, generous circulation paths, a sculptural staircase, and skylights create a feeling of openness and lightness. The difference in treatment and fenestration on each side of the library appropriately responds to its site orientation and the environmental effects on them. The building is expected to receive LEED Silver certification and makes use of both passive sustainable strategies as well as active strategies. The incorporation of a green roof over the one-story wing creates a better insulated space for the program area. Natural light floods the interior spaces through the surrounding glazing and skylights and reduces the need for artificial lighting. The use of a photovoltaic panel system has assisted in generating over 5% of the building’s utility features onsite, as well reducing the baseline energy use by nearly 25%. A rain garden at the entry of the building creates a small stream of rainwater from the roof to feed native plantings and remain within onsite in a retention pond. To further promote sustainable design, significant efforts were made to use both local and high-recycled content materials.
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