The AIA and American Library Association (ALA) announced the winners of this year’s Library Building Awards, recognizing architectural excellence in design and responsiveness to the needs of local community members. The winning designs include two separate nods for the Boston Public Library (for the East Branch and Central Public Library), a mountain-shaped edifice alongside a river in Latvia, and a new project in New Orleans that shows the neighborhood’s resilience in a post-Hurricane Katrina environment.
The judging committee for this year’s awards included jury chair Will Bruder, FAIA, of Phoenix-based Will Bruder Architects; Duncan Ballash, AIA, president and owner of EHDD Architecture; Luren Dickinson, of Beaumont Library District in Beaumont, Calif.; Ameet Doshi, of the Georgia Institute of Technology Library in Atlanta; Alan Grosenheider, of University of California, Santa Barbara Library in Santa Barbara, Calif.; and Alexander Lamis, FAIA, partner at Robert A.M. Stern Architects in New York.
The newly renovated space is designed around the concept of acting as a big urban space that connects the indoors and outdoors, engaging both patrons and passersby, and provides views out to the Beantown's Avenue of the Arts.
Located in one of Boston's youngest and most diverse neighborhoods, where 50 percent of the population are immigrants and under the age of 19, the designers conceived the space as a "welcoming" center for the area while the interiors served as a hub for cross-generational interaction.
Sitting on a three-acre site, the community center and technology facility is envisioned as a destination space on the outskirts of the state's capital.
The modern building is a newly established anchor in the 800-year-old city and consolidates six buildings worth of content in a 600,000-square-foot space.
The modern addition to the Carnegie branch library features an exposed wood structure with a glazed façade. Working with the site's sloping grade, the design team positioned the library's entrance at grade level, negating the need for steps and improving accessibility.
Funded entirely by Federal Emergency Management Agency's recovery program following Hurricane Katrina, the LEED Silver–certified project restored a 1917 Arts and Crafts bungalow that now acts as a community center, and reconstructed a 6,300-square-foot library wing.
Per feedback from the university's student population, the project renovated an existing 48,000-square-foot underground facility and added 4,000-square-foot of ground-level space to ensure better usability for those who need it most.
The new library for an agrarian community outside of Richmond, Va., replaces an aging facility sited on 22 acres that was formerly private land.