View of the Westlight building's southwest corner
Sara Johnson View of the Westlight building's southwest corner

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.

Reading room
Sara Johnson Reading room
Sara Johnson

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).

Children's Pavilion
Sara Johnson Children's Pavilion