The D.C. Public Library opens its newest branch on Saturday in the city's West End neighborhood. Sited primarily on the ground-floor of a new mixed-use building designed by Mexico City and New York firm TEN Arquitectos, the library was designed by local firm CORE Architecture + Design.
Bright colors are common in DCPL's new branch libraries, and this new space is no exception. Green-colored glass marks the entrance, and inside book stacks are blazoned with more vivid hues. (Adult stacks are warm colors; the kids stacks are cool.) White structural concrete columns slash through the library's reading rooms and teen area, visible from the exterior through the ceramic-fritted glass façade. Deeper in the building, maple wood boards combined with ceiling panels from 3form compose the Children's Pavilion. Staff offices on the second floor, breakout spaces, and a 100-person meeting room complete the library space. A soon-to-open Bluestone Lane café is located near the entrance.
The under-construction Westlight project includes condominiums and a tower of rental units, according to a spokesperson for the developer, EastBanc. "The stepped façade expresses each residential unit, offering it corner windows and a direct individual visual exchange with the city," according to TEN Arquitectos' website.
CORE also worked on the renovation of the branch's Mt. Pleasant Library. DCPL's other on-the-boards projects include the under-construction Cleveland Park Library and the renovation of the central Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (originally designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe).