81st Avenue Branch Library

Oakland, California

The new 81st Avenue Branch Library is a civic and community beacon for its East Oakland neighborhood. The largest branch in the Oakland Public Library system, it also serves as a new academic library for two adjacent elementary schools. The large dedicated teen area, quiet reading room and storytime area are zoned to provide multigenerational ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$466.00FEATURED IN2011 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYLibraries/Media Centers with acoustic control. A media lab, classroom and divisible community room serve both school and community programs. A cyber cafe will be run by a local youth employment program.

The distinctive architectural form and vibrant interiors reflect the library’s commitment to innovation and sustainability. A standing-seam metal skin wraps around the facade and folds over the main reading room. Clerestory windows bring in controlled daylight and are a canvas for a public art. Oversized window seats create a perch above the street, which is activated by storefront windows in the bookstore-style browsing area.

Radiant heating/cooling and natural ventilation are among the strategies used to target LEED silver certification.