james richärd, aia principal


kelly bauer, fiida principal



stephen kennedy, aia ncarb principal



1545 west thomas road
phoenix, arizona 85015
p 602 264 1955
f 602 264 9234


south mountain community library, south mountain community college

South Mountain Community College, Phoenix, AZ

Maricopa County Community College District

48,000 sf / 24M / Completed February 2012

This new facility combines the functions of a modern public library with the components of a state of the art central campus library. The library includes a 200 seat multifunctional meeting room, conference and multimedia center, high tech classrooms, computer center, quiet and interaction rooms. A children’s library and storytime room are organized below the academic story telling institution with vertical connection to the exterior courtyard dedicated to the children’s use.



The building builds upon physical, functional and philosophical layering and the dynamic interaction throughout the plan. The building is modeled after the architecture of an integrated circuit, providing insulation between disparate functions and promoting interaction and connection between like functions and spaces. Academic programs affiliated with those within the public library are organized around vertical interconnected spaces; providing a discrete connection while maintaining critical organization within each discipline. Natural light is brought deep into the diagram through a series of triple insulated clerestory monitors through a series of light shafts to the floors below. The interior of the building is lined in an acoustical cedar wood, frosted and laser cut acrylic panels reflect patterned abstractions of the agriculture that once was an integral part of the community. An accessible flooring system allows for continual reorganization of the building, while all services are distributed by a continuous illuminated distribution circuit, accessible throughout its length for flexibility. The articulated skin of weathering copper is designed to provide a naturally ventilating skin, and triple layered insulated clerestories provide a high performance enclosure.

Photography: Bill Timmerman, Mark Boisclair