The facility houses both public library and community college functions, creating a unique and diverse program for the building that includes adult, teen and youth reading spaces, common areas and multi-use facilities. The facility also utilizes advanced RFID and self-service technology throughout the Library.
Located in the high desert of northern Arizona and inspired from a regional lava dome, the design of the library becomes an eruption of the site. A folded corten skin and glass window wall wrap the outer shell, dramatic lava boulders fall into the courtyard spaces, organic flowing floor patterns extend inside/out. The skin detail wraps to the inside of the building and transfers into an exposed cedar ceiling surface that can be seen from the first and second floor of the library, forging an expansive reading room vista driven by the concept and client objectives. Within the interior, each programmatic element rises from the floor plate defining and transforming places into stimulating environments that the library patrons can experience as a reflection of the site.
The building is organized around the central community focus, the public meeting space, this is a place where the community comes together for public meetings, lectures and performances. The library is organized around the meeting spaces, flanked by the town’s partner in the project Yavapai College, classrooms and offices. The building is adjacent to a new parking area to allow patrons to walk at grade into the building, and a series of terraces and an open walkway connects the new building to the existing city hall and amphitheater area, enlivening this relatively unused area.
The purpose is to capture that feeling of adventure and wonder, as the building unfolds to the visitor, with an overarching roof form providing shade and protection from the wind and rain, and the central meeting spaces rising from the library and community college, providing the same vistas to the public, reconnecting them with the environment and the amazing views. Additionally, with the height of the auditorium space, we created a open meeting space at the top of the building, that serves as a central beacon, a campanile, for the civic complex, capturing the drama of the eruption of Bald Mountain, that gave birth to the valley.
Photography: Rick Brazil, Mark Boisclair