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Previous Winners of the AIA/ALA Library Buildings Award Program

2005 AIA/ALA Library Buildings Award

2003 AIA/ALA Library Buildings Award

New Buildings

  •        Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, Atlanta, Ga., for the Lee B. Philmon Branch Library (Riverdale, Ga.). The library sited amongst chain-store detailing and neon signs, making its simple geometries and subtle coloring all the more appealing. Inside, thanks to skylights and large triangular expanses of wall, its 14,000 square feet offers an “oasis of variegated space and light.”
  •        Hartman-Cox Architects, Washington D.C. for The Jefferson Library at Monticello (Charlottesville, Va.). The new 15,000-square-foot research library adjacent to a Colonial Revival house contains a two-story reading room, offices, conference room, a work area for research on the presidential papers and a rare-book storage area.
  •        Davis Brody Bond, LLP, New York City   for the South Court, New York Public Library.   This project, a new, 42,500-square-foot, three-story structure, resides in the open south courtyard of the New York Public Library and accommodates the library's public education program as well as administrative/staff support, plus an electronic teaching center, auditorium, administrative offices, and an employee lounge located on the glass-walled top floor.
  •        Overland Partners Architects, San Antonio, Texas, and Architect of Record: Good Fulton + Farrell Architects, Dallas,   for The Hockaday School Upper and Lower School Library, Dallas.  This new library serves as the centerpiece of a multi-million dollar renovation and new construction project for a prestigious all-girls academy in Dallas. Sited at the heart of the campus, the new library takes maximum advantage of natural light and permits preservation of three large oak trees in the center of the campus.


  •        Mahlum Architects and Cardwell Architects, Seattle,   for the University of Washington: Suzzallo Library (Seattle). Driven by the need for seismic and accessibility upgrades, this project entailed restoration of the complex's 1925, 1935, and 1965 buildings-some 325,000 square feet on seven floors.
  •        LMN Architects, Seattle, for the Seattle Public Temporary Central Library.
    The temporary facility is able to provide primary book distribution and computer service hubs for the Seattle Public Library’s 23-branch system as well as administrative offices, children’s library, computer training center, meeting rooms, and space for the 350-person staff.
  •        Kennedy and Violich Architecture Ltd., Boston, for the Shady Hill School Library, Cambridge, Mass.  A raised-floor plenum accommodates the infrastructure that brings power and data for use of the Internet and the school's intranet.



2001 AIA/ALA Library Buildings Award

  • Steven Ehrlich Architects of Los Angeles, California, for the Robertson Branch Library in Los Angeles California, Cheryl Collins, Branch Manager. This new branch library of 10,000 square feet floats the library above the busy streetscape to support both library and parking on a tight urban site.
  • Carlson Architect, P.S. of Seattle, Washington, for the North Mason Timberland Library in Belfair, Washington, Thelma Kruse, Library Director. The new library in Belfair is the heart of this small, rural community. The building is meant to reflect the history and character of this old logging and milling town, its design reminiscent of millrun sheds in the area.
  • Michael Graves & Associates of Princeton, New Jersey, in association with Klipp Colussy Jenks DuBois Architects of Denver, Colorado, for the Denver Public Library, Rick Ashton, Library Director. The renovation and expansion of the 1956 downtown library designed by Burnham Hoyt, resulted in a building that more than tripled the 150,000 square foot Burnham building to 540,000 square feet.
  • Elliott & Elliott Architecture of Blue Hill, Maine, for the Friend Memorial Library in Brooklin, Maine, Gretchen Volenick, Library Director. The library is a modest building that addressed its community's needs through the replacement of structurally unsound addition to the original building with new space that simplified exterior and provided greater order to the interior.
  • Helfand Myerberg Guggenheimer of New York, New York, for the Rhys Carpenter Library, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Elliott Shore, Library Director. The library houses Bryn Mawr's Art and Archaeology and Growth of Cities collections. This project expanded Thomas Hall, a 1904 historic collegiate Gothic building by Cope and Stewardson, by way of a new two story structure submerged under a grassy roof terrace.
  • Fletcher Farr Ayotte PC of Portland, Oregon, in association with Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates of Los Angeles, California, for the Multnomah County Central Library in Portland, Ginnie Cooper, Library Director. This renovation sough to respect the character of this 1913 National Register structure while opening more of the collection to direct public access, improving physical access for disabled users, and provide proper support for modern computer, telecommunications, and security needs.
  • Thomas Hacker and Associates Architect, Inc. of Portland, Oregon, for the Woodstock Branch Library in Portland, Ginnie Cooper, Library Director. This new branch library occupies a prominent commercial corner in its Portland neighborhood and, the simple and direct interior layout balances the commercial traffic outside.
  • Graham Gund Architects of Cambridge, Massachusetts for the Dimond Library, University of New Hampshire, Nurham, Claudia Morner, Library Director. The expansion and renovation of the Dimond Library provided shelf space for a one million volume collection, improved access to technology.
    The award will be presented to the librarians and architects of the winning libraries at 2:00 p.m. at the San Francisco Public Library on Monday, June 18, during the 2001 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.


1999 AIA/ALA Library Buildings Award

  • Arthur Cotton Moore/Associates of Washington, D.C., for the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The renovation of the historic 600,000-square-foot, 1897 structure restores a national treasure, preserving the grandeur of the past while making accommodation for the future.
  • Davis, Brody Bond, LLP, New York, for the Deborah, Jonathan F.P., Samuel Priest, and Adam Raphael Rose Main Reading Room at the New Public Library's Humanities and Social Sciences Library, New York. The restoration of the 23,000-square-foot historically significant reading room successfully integrates modern technologies to maximize efficiency of library service while maintaining the elegance and aesthetic integrity of the 1911 original building.
  • Jefferson B. Riley, FAIA, and James C. Childress, AIA, of Centerbrook Architects and Planners, LLC, Centerbrook, Conn., for the School of Law Center, Quinnipiac College, Hamden, Conn., a new 51,000-square-foot library, accommodating 552,000 volumes, that forms a portion of a law school center at the terminus of the college's "villagetreet."
  • Davis, Brody Bond, LLP, New York, and Thomas Miller & Partners, Brentwood, Tenn., associate architect; for the Annette and Irwin Eskind Biomedical Research Library of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn., a new 80,000-square-foot facility that serves as a symbolic focus for the medical center, creating a transition between the medical center and the smaller-scale architecture of the older campus.
  • M.W. Steele Group, Inc., La Jolla, Calif., for the Carmel Mountain Ranch Library, San Diego, for a new 13,102-square-foot library. As the only civic building in a new community, the library serves as a center for the community as well as a source for books and media.
  • Polshek Partnership, LLP, New York, for the Queens Borough Public Library, Flushing (N.Y.) Branch, Flushing. Located in a vibrant multi-lingual, multi-cultural neighborhood, this new 76,000- square-foot public library stresses free and open access to information, learning and community assembly.

1997 AIA/ALA Library Buildings Award

  • Lake/Flato Architects, Inc., of San Antonio, Texas, for the Great Northwest Branch Library, a new 13,150 square-foot branch library. Working within a tight construction budget, the architects used a combination of indigenous stone and refined metal to creat exciting interior and exterior constrasts, evoking both the library's rural setting and its utilitarian function. The jury called it "a superb example of the best of regional arachitecture that works at every level."
  • Stephen D. Weinstein/John Ellis & Associates Joint Venture Architect, New York, New York, for the New York Public Library, Tottenville Branch, Staten Island. The judges cited the renovation/restoration of the popular 6,645 square-foot branch library for enhancing the historic character of the 1904 building while adding state-of-the-art technology. Additional staff space and an enlarged story room are provided. Elegant, unobtrusive access for people with disabilities is created. The judges admired both the quality of the restoration and the "imaginative set of new interventions" that reflected intelligent choices by the architects in a limited series of changes.
  • Steven Ehrlich Architects, Santa Monica, California, for the Paul Cummins Library at Crossroads School, Santa Monica. Occupying a difficult site on a private alley that doubles as a parking lot and a student courtyard, the new 12,000 square-foot library invites students in through a two-story periodical reading room shaded by a steel canopy that offers a place for the students to gather. The jury commended the architects for capturing the energy and vitality of its student population in a "lively, informal, exhuberant building" that enhances its urban setting.
  • William P. Bruder-Architect, Ltd., New River, Arizona., for the Phoenix Central Library; DWL Architects, Phoenix, associate architects. Given the charge to design a library that would function until the year 2040 and beyond, the architects creaated a design on five levels in a simple rectangular layout enabling future reconfiguration. Natural light floods the five-story atrium/light well while the large reading room at the top of the building bhoasts a unique steel roof that seems tethered down rather than supported from below. The judges said the building "reconceives the notion of libraries as we know them, using imaginative and new means instead of relying on traditional devices, solutions and symbols."
  • Moore Ruble Yudell, Santa Monica, California, for the Powell Library Renovation and Seismic Upgrade, University of California at Los Angeles. The architects faced a number of challenges: to retrofit a historic 1929 Romanesque-style building to current seismic/life safety standards; to preserve and enhance the historic elements of the original building while reversing decades of inappropriate renovations and additions; and to provide for current technology and improved efficiency of operation while making the building a friendly place for users. The resulting design provides added functionality through new space, improved lighting and space layouts, ventilation, disabled accessibility and student access to information technology. The jury applauded the "brilliant creation of a new forecourt achieved by the removal of less desirable elements," the "seamless facade," and the design of new areas that have their own character that complements, rather than imitates, the old.
  • Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, New York, New York, and Simon Martin-Vegue Winkelstein Moris, San Francisco, associated architects, for the San Francisco New Main Public Library, San Francisco. The new 398,908 square-foot library, occupying a full block site linking the contemporary city and the Civic Center, "presents a 21st century vision of the modern civic library while respecting the library's historical," the jury noted. The building's different entrances, each with its own personality, open into two major spaces: a great open staircase that moves through the building displaying its activities and a five-story skylit open space that connects the library's various parts. According to the jury, the exterior represents "where libraries have been" while the inside, equipped to accommodate collections, services, reading spaces and other related functions in a growth pattern geared to the year 2010, represents "where libraries are going."
  • Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, LLC, of New York, New York, for The Science, Industry and Business Library of the New York Public Library. The architects were faced with the challenge of maintaining the integrity of the landmark B. Altman department store building while incorporating the most advanced computer technology into its infrastructure and providing flexibility for emerging new technologies. The final design, achieved through intensive work sessions and critiques with staff, users and special consultants, presents technology in an easy-to-use manner and helps both technologically advanced and neophyte users achieve their goals. Jurors praised the interior landscape created by the large two-story main hall, as well as the attention to detail manifested in the superior signage, lightning and visibility from the street.


1995 AIA/ALA Library Buildings Award

Six winners have been named in the 17th Library Buildings Award Program sponsored by the Library Administration and Management Association (LAMA) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Selected by a jury of three librarians and three architects who have extensive experience with library buildings, the biennial awards honor distinguished accomplishment in library architecture by an American architect without regard to location or library type. Award categories are new buildings, additions, library interiors design and refurnishing, renovation, restoration and conversion to library use.

The 1995 winners include three new buildings, a major renovation and two adaptive retrofittings of nonlibrary structures. The winners are:

  • Davis, Brody & Associates of New York for creating the William and Anita Newman Library and Technology Center, Baruch College, New York, from an 1894 industrial building. The jurors said the new library provides well-integrated technology with more traditional library function. "The rehab is sophisticated, yet clean and crisp, with every level of detail solid from the functional work stations to the screening of noise from the atrium."
  • Richard Fleishman Architects, Inc., of Cleveland, for retrofitting a girl's high school into a public library facility for Lake Shore Facility, Cleveland (Ohio) Public Library. The facility houses seven major library services: technical services, the library for the blind and physically handicapped, a training facility, a community auditorium, administration and a branch library. "The resulting design fits these diverse functions together well, using extraordinary use of color and a clear design. Separate entrances focus the community, library and service activities."
  • Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates of Los Angeles for the renovation of the landmark Betram Goodhue building for the Los Angeles Public Library. The 10-year, $214-million project included extensive rehabilitation and select restoration, repair of both arson and earthquake damage, addition of a new wing and the creation of a public park to the west. The new wing has an eight-story atrium called the "Grand Canyon of books" by former City Librarian Elizabeth Martinez.
  • Clint Pherson Architects of Seattle for the new 2,200 square foot Amanda Park (Wash.) Timberland Library. The vernacular "plank house" of the Quinault people served as the initial design reference for the library which serves a population including members of the Quinault Indian Nation. "The building fits into its site with minimal disruption to the surrounding rain forest. It has a rustic appearance along with modern technological services and links to the local system."
  • Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership of Seattle for the King County Library System Bellevue (Wash.) Regional Library. The regional library is the centerpiece in the master plan to link the commercial downtown with the residential district. It holds the largest collection in the King County Library System. "Although the architecture is intended to express an image of civic importance and monumentality, we noted that there is still a sense of visual accessibility."
  • James Stirling, Michael Wilford & Associates and IBI Group/L Paul Sajfen of Irvine, California, for the Irvine Science Library at the University of California. The library was designed as a connective element between two user communities -- the central campus and the medical school. It has a circular floor plan derived from the campus plan which provides for central courtyard from which one enters the building as well as daylight to all reader and staff spaces. "The reader spaces are scattered through the building offering a choice of location and ambiance from the bustling 24-hour study room to seclusion on the upper levels."