Previous Winners of the AIA/ALA Library Buildings Award Program
2007 AIA/ALA Library Buildings Award
Robin Hood Foundation Library for P.S. 192,
This public elementary school library renovation project is part of a broader philanthropic initiative targeting schools in high poverty neighborhoods. The plan for the interior takes advantage of natural daylight by locating the children's reading areas close to fully-revealed windows, minimizing the need for artificial lighting. Major materials, including bamboo flooring, formaldehyde-free wheat straw board, and recycled plastic were selected for their low environmental impact and low cost. The 2,400-square-foot renovation incorporates sustainable and child-friendly materials as well as custom casework into a bright, playful and inviting space for reading. Jury members said, “With very little, this library now has the power to spark imagination. It also maintains an orderly system for instruction by differentiating spaces within a limited area for a variety of functions. Although small, this project should give much inspiration to its students and, as well, to other similar endeavors in impoverished communities.”
Desert Broom Branch Library for the City of Phoenix, Engineering and Architectural Services Dept., Phoenix, by richärd + bauer architecture
This library is a new, freestanding15,000 square foot LEED certified facility, configured to expand to an ultimate size of 25,000 square feet and capable of holding a collection of over 60,000 pieces. Within the framework of the roof, a series of volumes contain the Meeting Room, Utility core, Staff and Computer Training areas. Additionally, the building houses group study areas, youth/teen spaces, a periodicals living room and staff support spaces. A heavy commitment to computers is found throughout the building with wireless capability. The Jury members said, “The sense of place of this desert library is remarkably achieved by its horizontality, broad panoramic views of the landscape and sky, and integration of interior and exterior. The play on vertical lines and curves animates the spaces within, imbuing them with a sense of an evening breeze blowing through.”
Shunde Library for the City Construction and Development Center of Shunde District, Foshan, China, by P&T Architects and Engineers Ltd
The library, together with a performing art center and two museums form the new cultural centre of Shunde, a fast-growing district of about 1 million in
Ballard Library and
This is the first major building designed and built within a new municipal center master plan. Anemometers, monitoring wind speed and direction, are integrated on the roof. This information is coupled with information about light, energy usage, rainfall, and other data and transmitted to LED display panels along the building spines as artwork making microclimatic conditions created by the building visible. Jury members said, “A “green roof” spreads protectively over this library like a tent or a blanket, inviting and beckoning people under it. In this way it states its essential role as community center with peculiar northwest sensibilities. Weather and climate are in touch with the elements that are displayed within, while artistry and craft add to the tangible human scale of this captivating building. This is a true work of art that will endure for ages to come.”
Santa Monica College Library Expansion & Renovation, for Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA, by CO Architects
The goal was to modernize and enlarge the existing structure. The addition doubled the size and allowed centralization of the electronic information and technology systems, incorporated a variety of study spaces accommodating different learning styles, and increased book stack capacity. A new front porch was designed for the library. Broad and generous, it affords seats and meeting spaces and unifies the existing building with the new addition. This new porch has become the campus heart – a place to meet, to be seen, to interact, and to learn. The Jury members said, “The architects have transformed an out-dated library into a modern community landmark on a college campus. The receptive spaces, subtle introduction of daylight, artful use of materials, and beautifully crafted details do not diminish the old building but rather improve it.”
David Bishop Skillman Library for Lafayette College, Easton, PA, by Ann Beha Architects
The existing 75,000 SF library with additions of 30,000 SF was completely re-planned and re-conceived as a whole new architectural entity. The renovated facility provides a café, casual reading/information meeting areas, group study rooms, digital project rooms, a gallery, special programs room, instruction rooms, and computer lab, making it the most popular place to be on campus. The new additions were scaled in proportion, height, and width to reflect the fabric of the eclectic buildings surrounding them, knitting together significant campus spaces. “Many colleges are currently facing the daunting challenge of renovating and expanding libraries built in the 1960s and 70s during a pre-technology era focused largely on protecting paper media and providing for private study. Here, the architects transformed such a library into a modern center that reflects a new era of openness and connectivity to its community and the world," said Jury members.
William J. Clinton Presidential Center for the William J. Clinton Foundation, Little Rock, Ark, by Polshek Partnership Architects, LLP
Principal design goals for the library were the creation of an inviting, memorable and inspiring experience, as well as a visually, intellectually and physically accessible space. Clad in glass and metal, the building’s bridge-like form emphasizes connections and is both a reference to
Fleet Library for the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, R.I., by Office dA
The architects’ challenge was to preserve the historic character of the space yet follow the program necessary to serve the institution, and adhere to rigid new mechanical, safety, and accessibility requirements, all within the project budget. In order to preserve the integrity of the existing historic room and fulfill the new program, the architects designed two freestanding pavilions at either end of the room, providing study spaces, a reading room, and a circulation island. Jury members said, “This restrained architectural intervention into an historic structure is skillfully done while maintaining distinctive contemporary strivings all its own. Beautifully detailed and crafted, its stepped platform, like the Spanish Steps of Rome, adds a welcome sociability lacking in so many other libraries. Beneath it, the private, recessed computer alcoves and work stations have their own allure.”
La Grande Bibliothéque, for the Bibliothéque et Archives nationales du Québec, Montreal, by Patkau / Croft-Pelletier / Menkés Shooner Dagenais Architectes Associés
This public library, the winning entry in an international design competition, consolidates collections dispersed throughout the province to create a resource library for the region and a central public library for the city of Montréal. Four hundred thousand square feet in size, the building contains four major components: a general library, a children’s library, the Collection nationale (historic documents pertaining to Québec) and an assortment of public spaces. Below grade, the library is joined to a major intersection in the Montréal metro system. The Jury members said, “At once urban, human scaled, and extraordinarily open, the building succeeds by its exquisite use of materials and detailing both inside and outside. There is a peaceful, tranquil feel that provides a welcome contrast to its grand urban gesture, masterfully executed. The architects were at the top of their game.”
2005 AIA/ALA Library Buildings Award
Arcadia University Landman Library, Glenside, Pa., by R.M. Kliment & Frances Halsband Architects, for Arcadia University
This design placed a new wing on the existing library, creating a curved limestone building that forms a distinctive presence at the heart of the campus. The library provides a variety of spaces and places for reading and study, including a two-story-high reading room that extends the full width of the building and looks out over the campus green.
This two-story glass-box, book-lined “room” accommodates 30,000 volumes and seating for 70 people in 40 table seats and 30 lounge chairs--each designed by a famous architect or designer. Located at the end of the building’s circulation system, overlooking a roof garden, the library is both very visible and removed from the major action of the building. As a small indication of the library’s success, it drew more than 20,000 visitors in its first three months of operation while serving a population of 750.
Carnegie Library of
The architects were charged with turning a nondescript, two-story concrete block with a zero lot line into a dynamic storefront library. A new interior lining peels away from the rigid concrete shell and, with the addition of a light wall, allows natural light from skylights and clerestories to penetrate the spaces. Although the library has doubled in size, the new building, which has applied for LEED™ certification from the U.S. Green Buildings Council, has a zero increase in energy consumption over the old building.
The architect’s major intentions were to design around how the state agency works, and for how visitors may enjoy the education, research, and cultural opportunities presented, while maintaining adequate security for staff and collections. Notable features are the building’s pervasive natural light, tempered with high-performance glass to eliminate UV penetration, along with sunscreens and porches.
Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library Renovation,
This 1915 library sits at the geographical and intellectual heart of the university. In renewing the building for the 21st century, the project upgraded and modernized the building system infrastructure and the original 10-floor self-supporting stack structure. New systems were threaded through the stacks, and the architects “found” functional space within two large light wells. Existing features and room finishes were preserved whenever possible.
Issaquah Public Library,
The cedar-sided structure used an exaggerated building height to meet the library’s programming needs, along with a trellis and canopies to help maintain human scale at the street level. Activity in the library’s multipurpose room, adjacent to the agora, is visible to the street.
Salt Lake City Public Library, Salt Lake City, by VCBO Architecture LLC, with design architect Moshe Safdie and Associates, for the Salt Lake City Public Library
This 200,000-square-foot facility is part of an ambitious program by the library to double its space for collections, establish a landmark in the city’s civic core, and create a lively interactive public space for the downtown area. It features a triangular main building, adjacent rectangular administration building, glass-enclosed “urban room,” and public piazza. The library also is a 2004 national AIA Honor Award for Architecture recipient.
Seattle Central Library, Seattle, by a joint venture of OMA/LMN (Office for Metropolitan Architecture and LMN Architects), for the
This project redefines the library as an institution no longer exclusively dedicated to the book, but as an information story in which all forms of media—new and old—are presented equally and legibly. Unlike traditional libraries, Seattle Central Library is organized into platforms, each dedicated to and equipped for specific duties. The spaces between the platforms function as trading floors where librarians inform and stimulate. The library’s unique “book spiral” addresses the ongoing problem of subject classification. The library also garnered a 2005 national AIA Honor Award for Architecture.
2003 AIA/ALA Library Buildings Award
Mack Scogin Merrill
Overland Partners Architects,
Mahlum Architects and Cardwell Architects, Seattle, for the
LMN Architects, Seattle, for the
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.,
2001 AIA/ALA Library Buildings Award
Steven Ehrlich Architects of
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
Thomas Hacker and Associates Architect, Inc. of
1999 AIA/ALA Library Buildings Award
Graham Gund Architects of Cambridge, Massachusetts for the Dimond Library, University of New Hampshire, Durham, 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.
Arthur Cotton Moore/Associates of
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,
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,
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,
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."
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
Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, LLC, of
1995 AIA/ALA Library Buildings Award
Davis, Brody & Associates of New York for creating the William and Anita Newman Library and
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 "
Clint Pherson Architects of
Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership of
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."