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Building Projects

Point Loma/Hervey Branch Library

Illustration of Point Loma Branch Library
Location:3701 Voltaire St.
Architect:Conwell Shonkwiler & Associates
Size:25,890 square feet
Construction:Opened Sept. 20, 2003
Estimated Cost:$11 million

The new Point Loma/Hervey Branch Library opened Sept. 20, 2003, with a major community celebration. The new, 26,000-square-foot facility is more than five times larger than the old Point Loma library, and it was the first project completed under the City of San Diego's $312.3 million library building program. The two-level building includes a community room for 122 people, kitchen, outdoor patios, comfortable lounge areas, a computer room, and seminar rooms. The children's area, which includes an art area and Story Time Zone, is the largest of any children's library in the City.

Funding for the $11 million project included a generous $5 million donation from The San Diego Foundation's Hervey Family Fund, $4.089 million in City redevelopment money, as well as other grants and donations.

Much of the library's design follows a nautical theme and includes a faux ship's hull and an actual working periscope that allows patrons to view the surrounding community. A rotunda, with a terrazzo map of the Point Loma peninsula on the floor, was designed to be a pivot point between the library and the community meeting area and to act as an entry for both walking visitors and those arriving by car.

This state-of-the-art facility holds 80,000 books and other materials. Book stacks were designed in a radiating fashion so that library staff at the central desk has visual control of most of the library. The roof forms simulate waves breaking on a beach. Special attention was given to the creation of natural sunlight filtering through the rotunda's sky dome and the library's windows preventing direct sunlight from deteriorating the books. Up-lighting makes it glow at night, creating a beacon/landmark for the neighborhood that is reminiscent of the region's most notable landmark, the Point Loma Lighthouse. The site also includes a small landscaped area with a grassy area that preserves the existing mature pine trees and creates a meeting and celebratory space for the neighborhood and community.

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