Colbern Library Center

Project Information

  • YEAR: 2020
  • CLIENT: Mid-Continent Public Library
  • SIZE: 33,500 Sf
  • TYPE: New Construction
  • LOCATION: Lee's Summit, Missouri

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2022 Metal Architecture Magazine
National Design Award

2022 AIA Kansas City
Merit Award for Architecture

2022 AIA Springfield
Professional Merit Award

Colbern Branch Library

Originally opened in 1993, the Colbern Road Branch was slated for a significant addition and remodel to accommodate new programs and technology. As the project kicked off, the design team reimagined what the new library could be if we were able to start from scratch. The idea of transferring knowledge at a basic level led us to think about passing notes as children, the idea of folding paper, and ultimately the paper airplane. The airplane theme resonated with the owner and played well with the planned programs for the new Library Center. Ultimately, the idea of starting from scratch created more opportunities to solve more needs for the library and community with minimal additional cost.

The design of the library includes a hint to the folded paper with the large screen wall façade that greets patrons as they make their way into the modern and spacious atrium. From there the multi-colored airplanes offer way-finding clues to various spaces in the library, including a large children’s area and dedicated storytime destination, a full-service coffee shop, and a spacious community room that can be used for larger events. There is a dedicated space for youth, centralized collections, comfortable seating for reading or hanging out, and plenty of natural light.

The Library Center also offers ample coworking space, including comfortable workspaces, small meeting rooms, and free access to Wi-Fi throughout. Home to Square One Business Services, entrepreneurs and small business owners can get free assistance with starting a business, branding, economic empowerment, and many other personalized courses designed to help businesses succeed.

The all-new Colbern Road Library Center offers a great modern experience for all users including non-traditional services to benefit the community at large.

Features Include:

  • A new enclosed community room with an operable partition wall that seats up to 240
  • A children’s program room that seats 106
  • 5 smaller collaboration rooms
  • Co-working space for entrepreneurs and small businesses
  • A teen space
  • A coffee shop

This project is part of the Library’s Capital Improvement Plan made possible by funds from Proposition L. The architects are SAPP Design (Springfield & Kansas City, MO) and Helix Architecture and Design, Inc. (Kansas City, MO), and the construction firm for all projects is JE Dunn.

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