The design for this branch library won a national competition held by the San Francisco Public Library, and construction was completed in September 2009. Adhering to the urban grid, the L-shaped scheme enables the main reading room and community room volumes to flank and define a central courtyard.
The project is a catalyst for ASSOCIATED FIRMGroup 4 ArchitectureCOST PER SQ FT$692.00CITATIONSpecial CitationFEATURED IN2010 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYLibraries/Media Centers Ocean Avenue retail district. The most striking element of the front facade, positioned prominently at the corner, is an egg-shaped children’s reading room with a large, bench-seat window that puts its users’ activities on display and encourages use of the library by younger patrons.
Inside, the spaces are designed to fuse historical interpretations of libraries as "temples of knowledge" with more common associations of books with the marketplace popularized by large retail bookstores. The sloped ceiling of the space is capped with giant skylights that coax sunlight deep into the room. Facing the courtyard, wood-clad carrels offer quiet, intimate spaces to read and relax.
Most important, this new branch library facilitates a central gathering space and enhances access to resources for the neighborhood, while playing an essential role in the revitalization of Ocean Avenue. The robust, light-filled and sustainable architectural design highlights the virtues and aspirations of this community: valuing the accessibility of knowledge and education to everyone.
"Simple, elegant design. Thoughtful use of materials, light and color. Beautiful details!"--2010 jury