After 40 years, Shute Park Library had devolved into a dark, cluttered, and inefficient interior space that had little connection to its namesake park. Our transformational renovation began with a total reorganization of the library — inside and out. A new public plaza and transparent entrance redefined the west elevation, forming a strong, clear connection between the library and the surrounding park. A ceramic frit pattern with tree rings containing first lines to books selected by patrons and staff was integrated into the glazing, which conceptually connects the library to the trees, adds a graphic dimension to the entrance, and reduces heat gain.
The interior is defined by open seating and low bookstacks that extend the entire length of the library, improving navigation and safety. We removed oppressively low-hanging metal HVAC ducts, accentuating high ceilings and clerestory windows, creating a visually open space. The restored north wall of glass is now visible throughout the library and is home to a variety of seating groups with views of the large stand of fir trees. Our library design incorporates an array of digital library systems, including an automated materials handling system, radio frequency identification, self-checkout stations, and mobile technology.
“[The] team at Hennebery Eddy are architectural wizards, and we will be forever grateful to them for finding a way to take this important, well-loved, and interesting building and turning it into a modern, welcoming, and inviting space … I feel confident that our new layout at Shute Park Branch Library, which allows for more space for people to be here and use the library in creative ways, has given us that flexibility for the future that we desperately needed.”
— Hillary Ostlund, Library Director