Location: Sunnyslope, AZ, USA
Program: Public branch library and community center within a mixed-use development
Size: 19,600 ft² (library), 115,000 ft² (mixed-use building)
What is the role of the library in the 21st century? With an increasing reliance upon digital media for both personal reading pleasure and research, is the physical entity of the library slowly being rendered obsolete? The aim of this project was to find a way to make the library relevant again in everyday life and reestablish its civic role in the community. Located on a busy intersection in the north Phoenix area of Sunnyslope, the library sits on the site of a future light rail station...a prime opportunity to engage the urban context.
Given the nature of the site and challenge of the program, a decision was made to incorporate the library into a mixed-use development where people would live, work, shop, and play. Instead of having to drive to a stand-alone library, patrons of this library could stop by to check out the latest new release after a doctor's appointment, or after dropping their children off at karate class. By simplifying the circulation check out process and providing attractive outdoor courtyards for reading, the library becomes an oasis for learning, relaxing, and exchanging ideas.