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North University Community Branch Library

Illustration of North University Community Branch Library

Location:8820 Judicial Drive
Cost:$7.9 Million
Construction:Began Fall 2004, Opened September 2007
Architects:Platt/Whitelaw Architects Inc., Harley Ellis Devereaux
Design Build Contractor:C.E. Wylie
Size:16,020 square feet

The North University Community Branch Library is a new facility located in the middle of the City-owned Nobel Athletic Park complex. The prominent architectural team Platt/Whitelaw Architects Inc. and Harley Ellis Devereaux cooperatively created a dynamic and functional design reflecting the community's unique heritage and identity. The structural design and appearance of the building blend beautifully with the park setting and the surrounding residential neighborhood.

The overall theme in the building architecture and the park celebrates the natural environment of the site and the technology of the local business community. The use of geological elements such as rock, fossils, minerals, and other formations is designed to encourage contemplation and learning.

The library is located on a knoll overlooking the park, the canyon and the neighborhood. The Nobel complex is designed to be a magnet for community activity and features a 10,200 square foot recreation building and gymnasium and a park with three multi-purpose athletic fields, children's play areas, picnic areas, a dog "off-leash" area, public art and several courtyards.

Access to the library entry will be from a parking lot to the north as well as convenient pedestrian access from the surrounding neighborhood, the park and a transit stop.

Customers will immediately feel the Library's connection to the community's rich environmental underpinnings as they approach. A large-scale sculpture entitled Sprout in the entry courtyard metaphorically represents the area's native foliage in a way that connects to the neighboring science and technology industry. Composed of two large steel pods, the structure illuminates from within at dusk, lighting the letters T, A, C and G-the alphabet of DNA (representing the nucleotides Thymine, Adenine, Cystosine and Guanine).

Clerestory roof forms (windows near the roof of the building) provide diffused day lighting well into the interior of the Library; they also create the architectural forms for the building that respond in general to the park setting and the adjacent recreation building. Exterior earth-tone colors and materials are appropriate to the park environment. The Library has been designed to allow for future expansion.

The building is organized around a main circulation route that separates the adult/young adult section from the children's library. Both areas are well supervised from the circulation desk and the reference area as well as from the staff work room. The computer lab and the seminar rooms are also located with strong visual connections to the supervised areas.

The library contains many special features, including:

  • Large, separate areas for the enrichment and education of children and teens. The children's and storytelling areas are 4,593 square feet alone.
  • A spacious community meeting room with built-in audio visual capabilities and several study and smaller meeting areas.
  • A state-of-the-art computer lab with space for 16 computers (with space for seven computers elsewhere in the Library).
  • A Friends of the Library Book Store.
  • A relaxing outdoor courtyard with seating that provides beautiful reading areas overlooking the park, the canyon, and the neighborhood.

North University Community Branch Library

Illustration of North University Community Branch Library Layout

Nobel Athletic Park Complex

Illustration of North University Community Branch Library Layout

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