Taking the Long View | Year in Architecture 2019

The Norman Public Library East branch of the Pioneer Library System, OK; Temple University’s Charles Library; Westport Library, CT; and Brambleton Library, Loudon County, VA.

Taking the Long View

The new Norman Public Library East branch of the Pioneer Library System, OK, which features flexible spaces inside and an outdoor programming area, is oriented to take full advantage of its site. Clerestory windows bring in an abundance of natural light and accentuate the unbroken prairie views; passive sustainable design strategies include storm water management and a thermally treated exterior. CREDITS: MSR Design, architect; ©Brandon Stengal, photo.


Heart of Glass

Temple University’s new 220,000 square foot Charles Library offers contrasts of lines and materials inside and out, starting with a granite slab–clad exterior wrapped around sidewalk-to-roof windows. Large wooden arches, which double as entryways, add drama to the light-filled interior. Cedar and steel finishes add warmth and sleek lines to the three-story domed central atrium, visually connected to upper levels by a central oculus. A 70 percent green roof and perennial reading garden bring nature—and sustainable design—to this Philadelphia campus. CREDITS: Snøhetta. architect; Michael Grimm, photo.

Stepping Up

Through the children’s portal to the main Westport Library, CT, users can see the grandstand structure featuring carpeted stepped seating. Talk about a perch with prospect! CREDITS: HMA2 Architects, architects; ©Christopher Payne/Esto, photo.


Stairs as seating continue to trend. This grand example with colorful cushion accents at Brambleton Library, Loudon County, VA, connects the two levels with an expansive open feeling. A glass side wall preserves sightlines and provides safety while helping to block noise. CREDITS: HGA Architects & Engineers, architects; ©Paul Rivera photo.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing