Design Trend: Texture, Shape, Material Dominate | Year in Architecture 2021

This year’s projects emphasize texture, shape, and material over bright, varied, or complex color stories within their spaces. 

DESIGN TREND  Texture, Shape, Material Dominate

This year’s projects emphasize texture, shape, and material over bright, varied, or complex color stories within their spaces. While pops of color continue to serve as wayfinding anchors, especially in children’s areas, many libraries emphasize richly textured fabrics, and flowing organic shapes for sound baffling, lighting, service desks, and circulation pathways. Colorways are anchored in softer, more naturally based hues, illustrating how library spaces can foster and influence individual well-being. 

1. The new Stanley A. Milner Library, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, softens its geometric and dynamic monochromatic aesthetic with wood cladding and interior circulation paths within the multistoried building. CREDITS: Teeple Architects, Stantec, architects; photo ©2020 Andrew Latreille.

2. The North East Branch Library, Cecil County Public Library, MD, features plush sapphire wingback chairs that complement the vinyl covered stools, offering durable, comfortable seating. CREDITS: Quinn Evans, Tappé Architects, architects; photo ©2020 Jay Greene Photography. 

3. The Lawrence County Public Library, Louisa, KY, designed by OPN Architects Inc., features a soft, earth-toned palette for its furnishings with simple organic nooks in its children’s area.CREDITS: OPN Architects, Inc., architect; OPN Architects, Inc., photo. 

4. A bespoke cantilevered table, among other built-in furniture options, in a reading area of Brooklyn’s renovated and restored Central Library, offers a warm, rich, and vibrant complement to the cool stone flooring. CREDITS: Toshiko Mori Architect, architect; Gregg Richards, photo. 

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