FROM THE ARCHITECTS:
Washington, D.C. –January 12, 2018 – The design-build team of Turner Construction Company and Perkins+Will is drawing on inspiration from the community for the design of Washington, D.C.’s new Southwest Library, a civic cornerstone that will replace the existing facility at 900 Wesley Place SW. Through multiple meetings, surveys, and conversations with members of the local community, the Turner/Perkins+Will team is adopting unique design concepts that address the community’s priorities. Designing to LEED Gold standards and using environmentally sensitive energy and water conservation strategies, the design incorporates four drivers in the building’s form, organization, location and choice of material that were identified in visioning the new 20,000 square-foot library with the community– Heritage, Sanctuary, Intuitive and Stimulating.
“More than just another public building, the community reinforced the important civic role the library plays in reflecting the heritage of the neighborhood,” said Carl Knutson, AIA, Principal and Design Director at Perkins+Will. “Our approach imagines a library as a pavilion ‘on the park’ with pathways and other features that invite the community in to explore the library and make it an intuitive part of the neighborhood experience.”
The design of the new library honors the mid-century modern architecture of the neighborhood and features the use of sustainable timber, similar to the enclosure designed for the nearby Arena Stage building. The process includes drawing on research that has identified library trends, including more square footage for public space, adaptable technologies that meet patron needs, and greater flexibility in the arrangement of space. A focus on sustainability and health and wellness underscores the entire design process.
“We are looking forward to the design-build process, and leveraging our experience with the District on more than 100 facility projects for this updated neighborhood resource,” said Jim Lears, General Manager, Special Projects Division for Turner. “We are also glad to be partnering once again with our longtime industry friends, Perkins+Will. Together, we have completed more than 250 projects, valued at more than $2 billion, and we are confident this will be another success – for us, and most importantly, for the District.”
Other partners in the design and building of the Southwest Library project include Interface Engineering, StructureCraft, Landscape Architecture Bureau, and Wiles Mensch Corporation.