Eight buildings win 2005 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards

Contact: Lorraine Olley


(312) 280-5036

For Immediate Release

March 31, 2005

Eight buildings win 2005 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards

CHICAGO - Every other year, representatives from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the ALA Library Administration and Management Association (LAMA) Buildings and Equipment Section gather to celebrate the finest examples of library design by architects licensed in the United States. The 2005 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards honor eight disparate projects, which all share successful resolution of their patrons' needs into harmonious and beautiful designs.

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.

Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture Library--The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, by Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects with associate architect Wandel and Schnell Architects, for the Ohio State University Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture

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 Pittsburgh, Brookline, by Loysen + Kreuthmeier Architects, for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

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 Georgia Archives, Morrow, Ga., by Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, for the Development Authority of Clayton County

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, Cambridge, Mass., by Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture & Engineering PC, for Harvard University

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, Issaquah, Wash., by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, for the King County Library System

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 Seattle Public Library

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.

Awardees will be honored at a program and reception scheduled for Monday afternoon, June 27, during the 2005 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

Michael Mills, FAIA, of Ford, Farewell, Mills & Gatsch chaired the 2005 jury. Other members were: Sheila Kennedy, AIA, Kennedy & Violich Architecture, Ltd.; Jeffrey Scherer, FAIA, Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd.; Charles Forrest, Emory University Library; Anne Larsen, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners; and Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory, Sno-Isle Library System.

LAMA, a division of ALA, promotes outstanding leadership and management practices and identifies, encourages, and nurtures tomorrow's leaders and managers. The AIA is the voice of the architecture profession dedicated to serving its members, ad vancing their value, and improving the quality of the built environment.