Taking It Outside | Year in Architecture 2019

Sanibel Public Library, FL; Borrego Springs Library of San Diego County Library, CA; Gutekunst Public Library, IA; Mission Branch Library of the City of Santa Clara Library System, CA; and the Dublin Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, OH.

Upgrades to the Sanibel Public Library, FL, extend from infrastructure to finishes. A new Business Center, Maker space, and children’s and teen spaces are enhanced by interior and exterior palettes reflecting the natural surroundings. Warm woods and white beach stones enhance custom cabinetry, seashore patterns and colors add cheer to flooring and furnishings, and an expanded outdoor porch offers readers a view. CREDITS: HBM Architects, architect; Greg Wilson, photo.

The new Borrego Springs Library of San Diego County Library, CA, celebrates the surrounding desert and sky with long horizontal planes that float above the desert floor, thanks to pilings that offset flash flood risk, and a large open patio. The building was designed for Zero Net Energy, and is colocated with a county park and sheriff’s office. CREDITS: Roesling Nakamura Terada Architects, architects; Jeff Durkin, photo.


The challenge of modernizing the Gutekunst Public Library, IA, while protecting the character of the 1924 historic building was achieved with a connected addition. The new, “respectful” extension provides flexible spaces for community and library use, new staff workroom, clear sight lines, and a wraparound reading porch with a view of the town’s Main Street, all accessible via a central elevator connecting all floors. CREDITS: Studio MELEE, architect; Cameron Campbell, Integrated Studio, photo.

Renovations to the Mission Branch Library of the City of Santa Clara Library System, CA, offer improved interior spaces, tech upgrades, an expansive patio with natural plantings, and upgraded energy efficiency in a modern, vibrant space that reflects its Bay Area community. Sunshine-hued accents, a natural wood ceiling, and floor-to-ceiling windows bring the outdoors in. CREDITS: Noll & Tam Architects, architects; Ethan Kaplan Photography, photo.


The new Dublin Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, OH, features a rain garden which not only adds beauty and natural connection to the 41,000 square foot, three-story new building, but also contributes to its sustainability, along with 83.66 tons of demolition debris that was diverted from landfills and used or recycled. CREDITS: NBBJ, architect; Chuck Choi, photo.

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