Architecture

Award-winning libraries rewrite the book on good design

Award-winning libraries rewrit...
Snøhetta and Dialog's Calgary Central Library is one of six stunning libraries recognized in the 2019 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards
Snøhetta and Dialog's Calgary Central Library is one of six stunning libraries recognized in the 2019 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards
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Albion Public Library was designed by Perkins + Will
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Albion Public Library was designed by Perkins + Will
Albion Public Library is located in Toronto
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Albion Public Library is located in Toronto
Albion Public Library replaces an aged facility on the site
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Albion Public Library replaces an aged facility on the site
Albion Public Library includes a community garden
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Albion Public Library includes a community garden
Albion Public Library features a polychrome screen of terracotta louvers
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Albion Public Library features a polychrome screen of terracotta louvers
Barnard College - The Milstein Center was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) 
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Barnard College - The Milstein Center was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) 
Barnard College - The Milstein Center is peppered with study spaces as well as creative, exploratory learning centers and service points
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Barnard College - The Milstein Center is peppered with study spaces as well as creative, exploratory learning centers and service points
Barnard College - The Milstein Center is connected to flexible spaces including an area for empirical reasoning, digital humanities, and a movement lab
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Barnard College - The Milstein Center is connected to flexible spaces including an area for empirical reasoning, digital humanities, and a movement lab
Barnard College - The Milstein Center is located in New York City
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Barnard College - The Milstein Center is located in New York City
Barnard College - The Milstein Center was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)
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Barnard College - The Milstein Center was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)
Snøhetta and Dialog's Calgary Central Library is one of six stunning libraries recognized in the 2019 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards
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Snøhetta and Dialog's Calgary Central Library is one of six stunning libraries recognized in the 2019 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards
Visitors enter Calgary Central Library by passing beneath a large wood archway inspired by the Chinook cloud arch
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Visitors enter Calgary Central Library by passing beneath a large wood archway inspired by the Chinook cloud arch
Calgary Central Library's atrium is defined by a double-curved shell and topped by a decorative oculus
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Calgary Central Library's atrium is defined by a double-curved shell and topped by a decorative oculus
Calgary Central Library includes quiet places of study despite a train running through it
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Calgary Central Library includes quiet places of study despite a train running through it
Calgary Central Library's energy-efficient triple-glazed facade features a hexagonal pattern of fritted glass and aluminum panels in a snowflake pattern
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Calgary Central Library's energy-efficient triple-glazed facade features a hexagonal pattern of fritted glass and aluminum panels in a snowflake pattern
Colorado College Tutt Library Expansion and Transformation was designed by Pfeiffer
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Colorado College Tutt Library Expansion and Transformation was designed by Pfeiffer
Colorado College Tutt Library Expansion and Transformation is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Colorado College Tutt Library Expansion and Transformation is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado
The original building of the Colorado College Tutt Library Expansion and Transformation was completed in 1961
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The original building of the Colorado College Tutt Library Expansion and Transformation was completed in 1961
While renovating the Colorado College Tutt Library Expansion and Transformation, the architects demolished a poorly thought-out extension completed in the 1980s
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While renovating the Colorado College Tutt Library Expansion and Transformation, the architects demolished a poorly thought-out extension completed in the 1980s
The Colorado College Tutt Library Expansion and Transformation's exterior cladding features red panels that reference locally mined red sandstone
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The Colorado College Tutt Library Expansion and Transformation's exterior cladding features red panels that reference locally mined red sandstone
Half Moon Bay Library is located in Half Moon Bay, California
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Half Moon Bay Library is located in Half Moon Bay, California
Half Moon Bay Library was designed by Noll & Tam Architects
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Half Moon Bay Library was designed by Noll & Tam Architects
Half Moon Bay Library includes a makerspace with sewing, embroidery, and button-making machines as well as a 3D printer, robots, and a virtual reality system
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Half Moon Bay Library includes a makerspace with sewing, embroidery, and button-making machines as well as a 3D printer, robots, and a virtual reality system
Half Moon Bay Library also includes an expanded DVD section 
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Half Moon Bay Library also includes an expanded DVD section 
Half Moon Bay Library allows users to check out laptop computers and GoPro cameras 
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Half Moon Bay Library allows users to check out laptop computers and GoPro cameras 
The Louisville Free Public Library South Central Regional Library is situated within a forest
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The Louisville Free Public Library South Central Regional Library is situated within a forest
The Louisville Free Public Library South Central Regional Library has an angular design that allows the sun to naturally light the interior
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The Louisville Free Public Library South Central Regional Library has an angular design that allows the sun to naturally light the interior
The Louisville Free Public Library South Central Regional Library has a movable wall system to ensure maximum flexibility 
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The Louisville Free Public Library South Central Regional Library has a movable wall system to ensure maximum flexibility 
The Louisville Free Public Library South Central Regional Library features glazing inside to maximize natural lighting
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The Louisville Free Public Library South Central Regional Library features glazing inside to maximize natural lighting
The Louisville Free Public Library South Central Regional Library was designed by MSR Design and JRA Architects
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The Louisville Free Public Library South Central Regional Library was designed by MSR Design and JRA Architects

A library with a train track running through it and another with an angular design that maximizes natural light inside are highlights of this year's American Institute of Architects (AIA) and American Library Association (ALA) Library Building Awards. Whether you're an avid bookworm or not, it's a great opportunity to check out some high-profile projects by the likes of SOM, Snøhetta and Perkins + Will.

As was the case last year, there are a total of six winners of the 2019 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards. The awards are open to libraries throughout the world that allow public access, as long as they were designed by a US-registered architect. That said, all six winners are located in North America this year: four in the US and two in Canada.

The most impressive is Calgary Central Library, by Snøhetta and Dialog. Fronted by an energy-efficient triple-glazed facade with a hexagonal pattern of fritted glass and aluminum panels, the building is accessed by passing through a large wood archway inspired by the Chinook cloud formation.

Calgary Central Library's atrium is defined by a double-curved shell and topped by a decorative oculus
Calgary Central Library's atrium is defined by a double-curved shell and topped by a decorative oculus

Its atrium features an eye-catching double-curved timber shell and is topped by a decorative oculus, which helps visitors orient themselves in the large building.

Considerable engineering expertise went into realizing the project too. Calgary Central Library is situated on a cramped and awkward inner-city plot that has a train running through it and extensive soundproofing was required to ensure people can study in peace.

The Louisville Free Public Library South Central Regional Library is situated within a forest
The Louisville Free Public Library South Central Regional Library is situated within a forest

The Louisville Free Public Library South Central Regional Library, by MSR Design and JRA Architects, is another standout. The library is situated within a forest, just 15 ft (4.5 m) away from the tree line.

Its angular form, which is fronted by expansive glazing, was conceived to ensure that natural light can reach the interior through a gap in the forest canopy. The layout is carefully-considered too and includes a movable wall system and minimal interior columns to ensure flexibility.

Efforts to increase the project's sustainability, including tree preservation, use of natural light, and stormwater management resulted in the project receiving LEED Gold (a green building standard) certification.

Albion Public Library is located in Toronto
Albion Public Library is located in Toronto

The Albion Public Library, by Perkins + Will, replaces Toronto's aged public library. Its exterior sports an eye-catching textured facade that's lifted at the corners to reveal points of entry. The firm also installed a community garden.

Barnard College - The Milstein Center was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) 
Barnard College - The Milstein Center was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) 

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill's Barnard College - The Milstein Center, in New York City, serves as a new hub for academic life in Barnard College's NYC campus. The building was designed to maximize natural light inside and has a faculty lounge with choice views of the Hudson River, Columbia University's campus, and Midtown Manhattan.

Colorado College Tutt Library Expansion and Transformation is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado College Tutt Library Expansion and Transformation is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado

The Colorado College Tutt Library Expansion and Transformation, by Pfeiffer, is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and overhauls a library originally constructed in 1961. The project involved the removal of a 1980s extension and its new layout, complete with additional glazing, ensures views of the stunning scenery.

Half Moon Bay Library is located in Half Moon Bay, California
Half Moon Bay Library is located in Half Moon Bay, California

The Noll & Tam Architects-designed Half Moon Bay Library in California features an exterior made up of reclaimed wood, copper, and rough stone. The building is topped by an exposed wood and metal composite roof and boasts a room that AIA says recalls the rigging of a ship.

Additionally, the library greets the digital age by offering books, as well as DVDs, GoPro Cameras, laptop computers and a maker's area with 3D-printing facilities and a virtual reality system.

More photos of each winner can be seen in the gallery.

Source: AIA

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PAV
San Diego's central library www.sandiego.gov/public-library/central-library
PAV
San Diego's central library www.sandiego.gov/public-library/central-library