Henry S. Terrazas Branch Library

Austin, Texas

  • FIRM

    Lawrence Group


    City of Austin

  • AREA

    10,400 sq.ft.





Educational programming for the new library includes an open reading room for adults and young adults, a youth computer room, two meeting/tutoring rooms, a children’s reading room, public-use computer area and an immigration-counseling area.

A prominent Spanish arch on the existing facility inspired the design of the gut renovation and addition, and is repeated on ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$144.23FEATURED IN2006 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYLibraries/Media CentersSUB CATEGORYSpecialized front facade to combine the old and new structures seamlessly. The new design defines specific areas of activity within an open floor plan and allows visual access to public elements for security reasons. A screen wall in the computer area allows visibility by staff and provides a sense of privacy.

Materials and forms such as volcanic rock pavers imported from Mexico and the heavy glulam beam roof structure emphasize the cultural significance of the historically Hispanic community. A screen wall and aluminum plate were created using the traditional art of punching paper (papel picado).

Elements of sun and water are incorporated throughout, including a beam of light in the reading room that allows a perspective of time.