Opposites Attract | Year in Architecture 2019

Galaxie Library, Dakota County Library, Apple Valley, MN; Keene Public Library, NH; Chicago Public Library’s Northtown Branch; Half Moon Bay Library, CA; and the Missouri City Branch Library, Fort Bend County Libraries, TX.

Quiet and loud: The quiet zone, enclosed by a glass wall, encourages concentration at Galaxie Library, Dakota County Library, Apple Valley, MN, while the deep blue walls subtly continue the galaxy theme. For those who need even more tranquility, a small calming space allows overstimulated patrons to take a break. CREDITS: BTR, architect; Peter J. Sieger, photo.


Old and new: Joining an 1869 Victorian mansion to a former Masonic hall to create Keene Public Library, the largest library in New Hampshire (70,000 square feet), this elegant two-story glass connector manages to marry a modern entry and community hub with its historic surroundings. CREDITS: Tappé Architects, architects; ©Ed Wonsek ArtWorks Inc., photo.


Public and private: Chicago Public Library’s new Northtown Branch is the third colocated housing and library combo built through a partnership with the Chicago Housing Authority. The ground floor will house the library’s community space, children’s area with early learning play zone, YOUmedia for teens, and adult reading and computer sections, while the housing above will provide 44 senior housing units, 14 affordable. CREDITS: Perkins + Will, architect; James Steinkamp, photo.


Land and sea: Designed in collaboration with the community that has concerns about development, the Half Moon Bay Library, CA, is made to fit into its residential neighborhood while subtly reflecting its coastal location and the area’s agricultural roots, through warm, stained Douglas Fir wood and translucent white panels intended to evoke ocean fog. CREDITS: Noll & Tam Architects, architects; Anthony Lindsey Photography, photo.


Inside and out: A multipurpose room on the top floor of the three-story, glass and stucco addition to the Missouri City Branch Library, Fort Bend County Libraries, TX, opens onto a balcony with views of the community, used for public special events as well as library-hosted ones.  CREDITS: Merriman Holt Powell Architects, architects; Juan DeLeon, photo.

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