DC awash with great libraries

Wednesday 04 Aug 2010

DBBA complete second new library as part of DC Public Library's Building Programme

The second library designed by Davis Brody Bond as part of DC Public Library's Building Programme has now officially opened in Washington, DC. Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library is a $10m facility which has been designed by the international practice in line with the DC programme which aims to develop a first-class, state-of-the-art neighbourhood library system.

Located along Rhode Island Avenue, the 22,800 sq ft structure sits on a triangular urban site and is arranged over three storeys – one below grade and two above. The public library has been deliberately designed to meet LEED Silver Certification and boasts a displacement air system, solar control and daylight management and has been constructed using a range of recyclable and renewable materials.

A corrugated, perforated aluminium screen wall system on the building’s southern facade sits three feet in front of an expansive glazed curtain wall. This curtain-walling provides sufficient shading of the upper level reading room yet allows a certain level of natural daylight into the space, reducing dependence on artificial lighting and therefore lowering energy costs as well as protecting the library’s collection from harmful solar exposure. The design also features a vegetative roof.

Local artist Craig Kraft has created a 22ft sculpture which greets visitors as they enter the library through the plaza at the east side of the site. From the main lobby, visitors can access the lower level, housing a range of community spaces including a 100 person multi-purpose room, the ground floor with the main service point, children’s library and new materials, and the upper level which houses the adult collection and adult reading rooms.

The Library will host a Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, 28th August from 10am - 4pm.

Sian Disson
News Editor

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