Existing Southwest Library at 900 Wesley Place SW, Washington, D.C.
DC Public Library, Mary Parker photographer Existing Southwest Library at 900 Wesley Place SW, Washington, D.C.

This week, Washington, D.C.'s public library system announced that it has commissioned Perkins+Will to redesign the Southwest Library branch as part of a design/build team with Turner Construction. The $18 million project will replace the existing building with a new structure.

Technically, this will be Perkins+Will's third free-standing public library in the city, but the first that the firm has designed. The Anacostia Library and the Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library, completed in 2010 and 2011, respectively, were designed and completed by the Freelon Group, which became part of Perkins+Will in 2014. Perkins+Will has designed the interior to one of the interim library spaces for the city's central library, originally designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, while that structure is under renovation. According to Perkins+Will spokesperson Rachel Rose, the D.C. office of Perkins+Will will manage the Southwest Library design, with a project team including design lead Carl Knutson, AIA, project manager Nancy Gribeluk, AIA, and library design specialist Kathryn Taylor.

The library plans to host the first community meeting about the project on July 11.