East Independence Library

Posted By Sapp Design

MCPL East Independence Branch is located on a triangulated site- two sides with heavy traffic flow and the other a lush forest of trees and greenery. The Library starts with a concept focused on a lantern, an opportunity to play with glazing and control light between the interior and exterior – day or night. As this concept idea progressed, it was important that the inspiration not impose on the “traditional” library but rather optimize and enhance it through site layout, building approach, street presence, and community experience. As one approaches the building, the patron is welcomed with a double-height glass facade that glows from within. The North wall is designed with a louver system that balances glow with shadow definitions for added depth and wraps around the entry forming a canopy. The North facade peels away from the bottom towards the West to allow natural light into specific programs, such as a children’s area. High-efficient glass and sun studies assist in book preservation and thermal comfort. The natural warm wood tones reference the trees and forest beyond, while its double height simultaneously functions as a roof screen for unsightly mechanical equipment; given the nature of the property and its relationship to the adjacent Intersection, the NE corner of the building needed to remain prominent while balancing the entrance location. Inside, the entry is fused to a central spine adjusted diagonally within the building, leading the patrons to the center of the floor plan. From the tall vestibule, the eye is led directly through the building to a west-facing glass facade showcasing the woodland. The circulation spine allows the patron to see the entirety of the floor plan to decide which area of the library best suits their needs.