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.