The design of the renovation of this 7,200 square foot branch library capitalizes on a change in the prevailing national attitude about public libraries. Freed by the computer from the mundane tasks of collecting fees, checking out, and processing books, librarians can now personally engage their readers. Seeing this as an opportunity to inject an animated aesthetic into this multicultural, working class community, our design reflects this new found energy. The library reading room is organized into three programmatic concentric color-coded zones. Composed of a razor sharp organization of cost-effective, pre-fabricated, glossy, white, fiberglass truck panel (typically used on the exterior of 18 wheel transport trucks) covered bookcases, computer and reading tables, the reading area is a comfortable environment for surfing the web, doing homework, or learning English as a second language.
The new Highlawn establishes the library as a comfortable, community-minded, social and intellectual nucleus, conceptually floating somewhere between a research site, Starbucks, and a neighborhood drop-in center, all surrounded by large-scale, close-up digital images of readers emblematic of all the varied faces that reside in the surrounding neighborhood.