piano nobile that takes advantage of height and natural light. The lower level houses most of the administrative space, a large public meeting room, a gallery, ...
HAVRE DE GRACE LIBRARY HAVRE DE GRACE, MARYLAND
In the small, waterfront city of Havre de Grace, MD, the naturally canopied and eminently walkable street of Union Ave runs North/South, and at some prominent corners, peels back to reveal some of its architectural DNA. The Havre de Grace branch of the Harford County Library System anchors one such corner, and strives to create a subtle and timeless landmark among the eclectic blend of urban fabric. The glazing on the north side is expansive, capturing the quality northern light for daytime reading. The small site required careful stormwater planning, and utilizes permeable pavers to drain most of the hardscape. Ample landscaping and low site walls allow the brick facade to meld seamlessly into the site and context, and the building maintains its strong connection to Union Ave. With 21,000 sf of program to manage, the site dictated a two story building, and the challenge became to design the building to allow the functional aspect of a library to span two levels. The entire second floor serves as the main public collection space, almost a piano nobile that takes advantage of height and natural light. The lower level houses most of the administrative space, a large public meeting room, a gallery, and public restrooms. Two stairs and two elevators separately serve both staff and patrons, and allow smooth transitions between floors for staff with book carts and equipment. The public experience is more of a path of discovery for patrons entring the library for the first time. A few steps into the lobby, and the patrons are granted a view high to the heavy timber trusses above and details like the reclaimed teak cladding on the curved stair wall. Winding around the circular “hub”, a small visitor’s niche, the curved metal stair and heavy timber treads lead to the main collection space. Large windows, tall ceilings and gently sloping timber trusses define the central space, while more intimate rooms like the business center, the study, and the reading room are located near the exterior. The collection is organized around a central customer service desk, and allows librarians to assist customers as well as maintain visual contact with key areas, including a vibrant early learning and literacy center. The ability to use the lower level independently allows more community programs and events to take adavantge not only of the meeting room and gallery, but also the courtyard that connects the library to the main walking thoroughfare of Union Ave. Combining traditional forms and interior details that nod to traditions of Havre de Grace, the library has established landmark and a true locus of community activity. Citizens and experience that will define the new role of the library in our
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The city of Havre de Grace is a one steeped in history, from its martime traditions to its status as a finalist for capital of our then-new nation. The architectural fabric of the streets is a cultural mash-up of brick ,gingerbread Victorian-era homes, and more recent vinylclad structures concentrated along historic Union Ave, which serves as the city’s main pedestrian thoroughfare.
1 MAIN ENTRY 2 ON-STREET PARKING 3 OFF-STREET PARKING 4 EXISTING SIDEWALK 5 COURTYARD 6 COVERED PROGRAM SPACE 7 COVERED DELIVERY 8 DUMPSTERS 9 MECH. ACCESS
Located on the highly visible corner of Pennington Ave and Union Ave, the library technically fronts on Pennington, but the building was designed to take advantage of the proxmity to other buildings like the new opera house and the walking venue of Union Ave. By electing to orient the main entry along Pennington, we were able to reserve the more formal Union Ave facade as a semi-public amentiy in the form of a courtyard. This courtyard has a dialogue of scale and texture with the existing tree-shaded sidewalk, and offers opportunities to link outdoor events to library programs. The broader facade offers the space for shallow sloped walks for ADA access in lieu of unsighly ramps and railings, and a suspended canopy protects the main entry. The library maintains the same setback as the adjacent structures as well as the function and form of the existing street corner and sidewalks, allowing patrons to perambulate the corner as they always have.
Initial Design & Massing Studies
above left: view of approach from Union Ave above right/lower left: views of facade & courtyard from Union Ave lower right: view from intersection of Union Ave and Pennington Ave
19 OFFICE 20 STAFF LOUNGE 21 TOILET ROOMS 22 CUSTOMER SERVICE DESK 23 COMPUTERS 24 ADULT COLLECTION 25 CHILDREN’S COLLECTION 26 BUSINESS CENTER 27 SMALL MEETING ROOM 28 READING ROOM 29 BALCONY 30 STUDY ALCOVE 31 SCHOONER COVE EARLY LEARNING & LITERACY CENTER 32 WORK ROOM 33 FAMILY ROOM 34 TEEN ROOM 35 LAFAYETTE’S LANDING 36 BRIDGE
FIRST FLOOR PLAN
1 VESTIBULE 2 ELEVATOR 3 LOBBY 4 GALLERY 5 CONFERENCE ROOM 6 LARGE MEETING ROOM 7 COURTYARD 8 MECHANICAL ROOM 9 BRANCH MANAGER 10 WARMING KITCHEN 11 STORAGE 12 SPRINKLER 13 I/T & ELECTRICAL 14 STAIR 15 PROCESSING 16 DELIVERY 17 COVERED TRUCK SPACE 18 ADMIN STUDIO
2 SECOND FLOOR PLAN
Adult Collection and Mezzanine beyond
Initial Interior Concepts
Schematic Lobby Sketch
Schematic Mezzanine Sketch Design evolution from concept sketches to the built environment. Details vary slightly but the original vision was maintained throughout the document process and was successfully executed during the construction administration phase.
Lobby: Visitor’s Hub and view to second floor
Desk, stair, and feature Children’s Area beyond
Mezzanine and Children’s Collection below
Teen Room & Study
Customer Service Desk
DaVinci Activity Table
Conceived in conunction with James Bradberry Architects, the children’s area, dubbed “Schooner Cove”, is an earlylearning and literacy center featured prominently in the library. Vivid colors, tactile interactivity, a focus on learning presented in a vibrant nautical theme make this area an absolute favorite for children under five in the community. From the pirate ship to the ranger station, Schooner Cove has been a true drawing feature for the library . Above Schooner Cove floats Lafayette’s Landing, a mezzanine/bridge level that focuses on the Maker age group and features a DaVinci inspired learning kiosk. Teen Room