Designs Featuring Glass Details Earn AIA/ALA Library Building Awards

A number of libraries featuring glass as a key design element, including the Biblioteca Central Estatal Wigberto Jiménez Moreno, León, Guanajuato, Mexico by Pei Partnership Architects LLP, have earned the 2009 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards. Biennially, representatives from the AIA and the American Library Association (ALA) gather to celebrate the finest examples of library design by architects licensed in the United States.

Among the winning designs, Pei Partnership’s Biblioteca project consisted primarily of two volumes interconnected by means of a two-level glass gallery. The main volume is composed of three levels and the second volume of two levels. A large terrace occupies the third level of the lower volume. On the lower level of the library, the gallery serves as an access and distribution vestibule, which leads directly to a central atrium covered by a skylight that connects the three levels of the principal volume.

Another winner was the Gentry Public Library in Gentry, Ark., by Marlon Blackwell Architect. The structure features steel and glass volumes that encase existing openings, brick ornament and selected walls at the ground and second floors. These volumes act as display cases oriented from the interior toward the city, presenting the artifacts to the public.

In addition, the Minneapolis Central Library designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, was another award recipient. The library, which was profiled in the September 2006 issue of USGlass magazine, features more than 50 individual silkscreened patterns representing four abstracted Minnesota nature scenes (one for each side of the building). The patterns were applied to the number-two surface of many of the units in 1/8-inch, rectangular pixels. (CLICK HERE for related article).

Other award winners were:

· Arabian Library, Scottsdale Public Library in Scottsdale, Ariz., by richard+bauer architecture, LLC;
· C.V. Starr East Asian Library, University of California Berkeley, by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects;
· Chongqing Library, Chongqing, China, by Perkins Eastman;
· NYPL Francis Martin Library, Bronx, N.Y., by 1100 Architect, P.C.; and
· Palo Verde Library / Maryvale Community Center, Phoenix, by Gould Evans Associates + Wendell Burnette Architects.
Recipients will be presented their awards at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago on July 13, 2009.