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DC Public Library
Interiors, New Construction
21,000 sq. ft., 2-Stories
Perkins + Will
The Southwest Library serves as a modern, sustainable space for community members to learn, study, and gather. The design concept of the library was to create a “pavilion on the park” that encourages its connection to nature, the neighborhood, and ultimately invites the community to come inside and experience the library as a vibrant community resource. New outdoor areas, public spaces, and meeting rooms allow the library to be utilized for a variety of community functions. This includes four small study rooms, a conference room, a maker space lab, and a divisible multipurpose room for larger gatherings. The library allows for a collection of over 20,000 books and provides the community access to internet, computers, printers, and technology including 3D printers and laser cutters. There are two exterior patios and extensive seating options to work, study, and lounge.
The library is the first public building in Washington built using a structural timber frame with dowel-laminated timber (DLT) decks. The folded plate roof of mass timber elements was a new application to embrace the mid-century modern design that is prevalent in the District’s smallest quadrant, Ward 6. The cradle to grave life cycle of mass timber demonstrates a significantly reduced impact on the global warming potential, ozone depletion, fossil fuel depletion, and water intake when compared to traditional building practices.