For more than 100 years, residents of Hercules, Calif., have had to travel to neighboring cities for library services. The town of 24,000 located 25 miles north of San Francisco was one of only two cities in California without a public library.
Now, thanks to a $10.4 million commitment from the city, residents finally have a library to call their own.
Designed by Will Bruder Architects, Phoenix, and HGA, Minneapolis, the 21,500-sf facility serves as a combined library/cultural center for the community.
The library's design integrates an enclosed courtyard that provides patrons with sheltered, outdoor space and floods the interior with daylight. The courtyard also serves as an architectural organizing element, subtly separating the adult and children's areas.
The design scheme is meant to create a sense of place and also hearken back to the founding of the city. The building's dark brick exterior, for instance, references the California Powder Works building that once produced Hercules-brand dynamite for which the city is named. Turner Construction served as construction manager.