The façade of the River Center Library is formed from a framework of crisscrossing steel that is infilled with concave glass panels, which give the building an accordion-like appearance. The perimeter glazing allows maximum daylight into the interior while maintaining a transparency that allows passersby to see the people and books within.
A void between the circulation ramps and the central floor plates allows visitors to take in multiple levels from one vantage point. Because the concrete floor slabs appear to float, their finished edges become part of the visual experience.
The section shows the stacks on thick concrete slabs, anchored by an off-center core that minimizes the need for columns. Encircling the central slabs are the gently sloped stair-step ramps that provide circulation through the building.
This massing diagram shows a double helix of ramps that winds around the central stacks, choreographing the visitor experience and progression through the library.
Flat vision glass on the interior-facing side of the façade is paired with an exterior layer of concave glass. In addition to lending aesthetic interest to the front of the building, this material changes the focus and refraction of the light, controlling the intensity of natural light as it enters the building.