Eight recipients announced for 2009 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards

Contact: Fred Reuland

Marketing Specialist





For Immediate Release

March 16, 2009

The Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) , and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced today the eight recipients for the 2009 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards. Biennially, representatives from the AIA and the American Library Association  gather to celebrate the finest examples of library design by architects licensed in the U.S. The 2009 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards honor eight separate projects.

Arabian Library, Scottsdale Public Library, Scottsdale, Arizona

richard+bauer architecture, LLC

The 20,000-square-foot library is a freestanding replacement for the small, shared-use facility at the Desert Arroyo Middle School. Walls of weathered steel plate reflect the terra-cotta walls of stone as they cant overhead. The interior of the cavernous reading room is clad in an acoustically absorbent perforated wood treatment that provides noise mitigation, allowing for spaces that enable patrons to enjoy reading, studying and small group activities without excessive noise spillover from adjacent zones. The accessible floor provides recessed mechanical, electrical and data distribution for long-term flexibility and ease of maintenance.

C.V. Starr East Asian Library, University of California Berkeley

Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects

The building was conceived as a strong symmetrical box, a repository for character language texts and a sanctuary for study. The mass of the four-story building is embedded in Berkeley’s hilly landscape and thus experienced in a dynamic way. To increase the building’s energy performance, perforated metal screens were installed behind the bronze grilles, preventing 45 percent of direct sunlight from entering the building and favorably reducing the library’s cooling loads. Other efforts to reduce the building’s impact on the environment included the use of occupancy sensors, Bamboo flooring, native plantings in the landscape and storm water recharge basins.

Library, Chongqing, China

Perkins Eastman

The 490,500-square-foot new Chongqing Library is a stunning urban complex, which respects the long and unique culture of its predecessor while looking toward this energetic region’s future by projecting a modern image. Features such as hotel rooms for visiting scholars, a public theater, a conferencing center and restaurant also help redefine the library as a cultural destination. In this way, the library as an institution is inviting and welcoming, rather than intimidating and exclusive. To convey the importance of this new city landmark, the design concept was predicated on the notion that learning, knowledge and the exchange of ideas must be free, open and accessible to all.

Biblioteca Central Estatal Wigberto Jiménez Moreno, León, Guanajuato, Mexico

Partnership Architects LLP

The library consists primarily of two volumes interconnected by means of a two-level glass gallery. The main volume is composed of three levels, and the second volume of two levels. A large terrace occupies the third level of the lower volume. On the lower level of the library, the gallery serves as an access and distribution vestibule that leads directly to a central atrium covered by a skylight, which connects the three levels of the principal volume. Three materials dominate the exterior of the building: white cantera, a Mexican stone that covers the outside walls; the glass of the gallery and the main staircase; and the painted white steel of the pergolas.

NYPL Francis Martin Library, Bronx, New York

1100 Architect, P.C.

The intended goal of the NYPL Francis Martin Library, a 1956 Bronx branch of the New York Public Library, was to transform the dark, cheerless and outdated space, so it would inspire, serve and connect the members of the community. The renovation of the second-floor children’s reading room is devised to stimulate its users’ imaginations and encourage them to learn through form, color and layout. The finished project has had an immensely positive impact on the children, the Bronx community, the library staff and the New York Public Library organization.

Gentry Public Library, Gentry, Arkansas

Marlon Blackwell Architect

The existing brick structures, though of little architectural value, were greatly desired by the community to remain visually intact at the exterior. In an effort to elevate the significance of the scarred and patched buildings, they are conceived as historical artifacts. Steel and glass volumes encase existing openings, brick ornament and selected walls at the ground and second floors. These volumes act as display cases oriented from the interior towards the city, presenting the artifacts to the public. They are intended to extend the gritty expressive character of the library with another layer of time, character and modernity.

Central Library, Minneapolis

Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

The new Minneapolis Central Library is a vital civic landmark and cultural center for downtown Minneapolis. The highly sustainable design, which arose from a collaborative, public process, reinvigorates the idea of the grand urban library for new generations. With no interior load-bearing walls, the library will accommodate changes in technology and use of space. The roof is planted with drought-resistant ground cover, creating an 18,500-square-foot roof garden that slows storm water runoff and keeps the building cool. An under-floor ventilation system reduces cooling costs by 20 percent, and copious daylight and energy-efficient light fixtures help the building exceed Minnesota’s energy code requirements by 27 percent.

Palo Verde Library / Maryvale Community Center, Phoenix

Gould Evans Associates + Wendell Burnette Architects

The City of Phoenix proposed to re-invigorate the “heart of Maryvale” with an innovative mixed-use building program that required a single building complex; a larger Library / Community Center, 16,000 and 27,000 square feet, respectively; Â incorporated the existing public pool. Maintaining the recreational park guided the site design and building layout. The explicit intent of the design was to be environmentally responsible and for the public park and its environs to remain the “green” heart of Maryvale. A pedestrian promenade of Arizona Ash threads the park, building programs and associated parking lots in the east-west direction.

The 2009 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards Jury included: Jury Chair, Douglas E. Ashe, FAIA, Ashe Broussard Weinzettle Architects; Charles Forrest, Robert M. Woodruff Library; Sarah R. Graham, AIA, AGPS Architecture; Donna Lauffer, Johnson County Library; Professor Claudia J. Morner, University of New Hampshire; and Ann Voda, AIA, Bentz/Thompson/Rietow, Inc.

Recipients will be presented their awards on Monday, July 13, at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

For more information regarding these projects or to obtain images, please contact Matt Tinder at

About the Library Leadership- and Management Association

The mission of the Library Leadership and Management Association (
www.ala.org/llama) is to encourage and nurture current and future library leaders, and to develop and promote outstanding leadership and management practices. LLAMA is a division of the American Library Association.

About The American Institute of Architects

For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit