- Project Name
- Louisville Free Public Library Northeast Regional Branch
15 Bellevoir Circle
- MSR Design
- Louisville Free Public Library
- Project Scope
- New Construction
- 35,511 sq. feet
- Year Completed
- Shared by
JRA Architects, Architect
MSR Design, Architect
Landscape Architect: MKSK,Civil Engineer: Citizen Engineering,Structural Engineer: Tetra Tech,Consulting Engineer: Kerr-Greulich,Consulting Engineer: Paladin,Construction Manager: Sullivan|Cozart
- Certifications & Designations
- LEED Gold
- Project Status
The new Northeast Regional Library brings service to a previously underserved area of Louisville. The facility provides 120,000 nearby residents with an accessible, inviting, and healthy place to access, enjoy, and participate in information sharing.
The building was conceived as a pavilion in the park, reintroducing patrons to an almost forgotten community landmark: the civil war era, national register designated Bellevoir home and grounds. This 13-acre formal lawn was protected during the development of the surrounding suburban office park, yet was effectively cut off from the public as tracts were developed to maximize street frontage and traffic efficiency. The design team sought to celebrate the site’s remarkable history by shaping itself as a deferential frame to this landscape.
Upon entry, visitors will enjoy a sweeping vista of the previously ignored park, and direct line of sight to the historic home. The landscape design gently integrates parking at the periphery, in the mode of the city’s revered Olmsted parks, while walking paths sweep through the park to connect the two buildings and welcome regular park walkers to enjoy the site’s best views among the trees.
The building’s focal point is the mirror clad maker suite, which accommodates simultaneous events in three interior and one screened exterior space, or allows larger activities to flow between multiple spaces, into the building, and out onto the covered plaza. The material collection is lowered several feet from the entry level, allowing uninterrupted views outward. Patrons descend into the collection primarily along a gently sloped path featuring new and popular materials, while amphitheater tiers and a slide into the children’s collection offer alternative connection points. The unique collection areas, private reading spaces, and partitioned northern rooms are highlighted with lighting filtered through layers of perforated fabric. Daylight penetrates deeply into the space from protected, south facing glass and strategically positioned overhead daylighting devices, minimizing the need for artificial light and creating dramatic moments of discovery.
A column free interior space enables ultimate flexibility for short-term adjustments and adaptability for long-term changes. A pressurized access floor plenum maintains greater occupant comfort with less robust equipment which, when partnered with daylight responsive LED lighting, exceeds the AIA 2030 challenge with systems that are 70% better than a typical public library. The site design nestled the building against numerous mature trees, affording patrons remarkable views and shaded outdoor amenities.