Boulder Public Library


The City of Boulder

Project Summary:

Complete planning, architectural and interior design including complex governmental approvals, public approval and all site improvements. The addition to and complete renovation of the existing buildings (which measure over five hundred feet in length) presented significant problems in regard to circulation, organization and clarity of function due to their site and configuration. The major design issues were the entry statement, site orientation and internal circulation. Therefore, it was determined that the library building needed a strong entry element to provide a clear hierarchy and organization of function. An axis was created across the site, roughly parallel with the main axis of the building and internal circulation spine. The north end of the axis is the plaza, on the east/west axis of the Municipal Campus. The new main entrance to the library is at the east end of the addition, on the formal axis from the north (both are skewed approximately five degrees to avoid several mature trees existing on the banks of Boulder Creek). Energy conservation and environmental issues are very important to the citizens of Boulder. Consequently, the library was designed to utilize daylighting to the greatest extent possible. The stepped clerestory roof monitors, deep overhangs on south and west xposures and the use of light shelves to reflect natural light deep into the interior space are important elements of the daylighting design. The extensive use of diffused natural light decreases the electrical lighting load and thus, the cooling load. These elements, combined with an indirect/direct evaporative cooling system that operates without chlorofluorocarbons, will significantly reduce energy consumption while minimizing the buildings’ impact on the environment.

Awards Won:

Steve Dach Award for Excellence in Colorado Masonry, Stone Category, 1992, Rocky Mountain Masonry Institute. Energy Conservation Award, 1990, Boulder County Energy Advisory Commission. Design Honor Award, American Institute of Architects, Western Mountain Region, 1992 Centennial Design Award, American Institute of Architects, Colorado 1992 Publications: “Architecture” October 1992 “Architecture” May 1991 “Wilson Library Bulletin” February 1991

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