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Checking In and Checking Out Silver Lake's New Library

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Among the design features of architecture firm Hodgetts + Fung's great-looking Hyde Park Library: Windows that are essentially bullet-proof. If one can say a library's architecture says a lot about a neighborhood, what to know about the lovely new M2A Architects-designed Silver Lake library? Given the Richard Neutra reference on the outside of the building, architecture is the theme of the neighborhood (there's the Neutra office a couple doors down). But the quotes extend inside, too--the walls are lined with words from everyone from Beck to Ayn Rand.

And design-wise, here's the layout: A second-floor large and very open main room takes up most of the building, while there's also a glass enclosed area that'll be used as a reading room (seen above). (The only thing the big room could use some more of, and this may be coming for all we know: Nooks. Libraries are great places for hiding and nooking out.) There's also a smaller room on the first floor. And the building's inspiring big green feature: A total of 168 solar panels will be placed on the roof, all of which will generate 32,000 watts an hour. (According to M2A Architect's site, the building is going for Gold LEED status). Meanwhile, the chatter of the guys inside the library was that a opening date was looking like September, but that was optimistic guess.

And the project description.>>>

Silver Lake Branch Library
Los Angeles, California

Serving as a gateway to the community, the Silver Lake Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library seeks to carve out a corner at a busy intersection with a channel glass spine to create a public plaza, which embraces the larger community and creates a welcome backdrop for the primary literary and social gathering functions of the building. The plaza, raised above the adjacent street, incorporates traditional references to the ascent to knowledge while creating a gathering place previously non-existent within this community. The fully glazed reading room and a glass garden dematerializes the definition between interior and exterior space, opening up this “living room space” to the plaza. The central spine also brings natural light into the center of the building and, with its photovoltaic skylight helps the facility attain its LEED Gold certification. A continuous clerestory window around the building allows the roof plane to float above the stacks bringing in natural light and affording views of the adjacent hills and sky.

The split level design incorporates the subterranean garage while opening the Multi-purpose room at the plaza level for a clear connection to the street, book fairs and other community activities.

· CurbedWire: Silver Lake Library Construction, Willoughby Avenue Wants to Unload [Curbed LA]