What was once an abandoned T.J. Maxx store in a shopping center is now a vibrant, inviting public library. The Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library (CHPL) has transformed the ghost store into the new Deer Park Library, designed by GBBN.
The formerly drab exterior now has a striking blue color and aluminum tubes on the facade, making the library clearly visible from the street. Large new windows in the facade and roof bring daylight into the once-dark retail store, while curved interior walls break up the space.
Five times larger than its previous space, the new 25,000-sf Deer Park Library has been organized around a central zone called The Marketplace. This open, flexible area has been designed to encourage mingling, lounging, and discovery. From the Marketplace, visitors can view all the library’s offerings, including computer workstations and study pods.
GBBN used the store’s large floor plate to create distinct zones for different age groups and activities. The zones have been denoted with mobile furniture and acoustically private yet transparent study pods, and include quiet spaces, a community meeting room, and space for messy creativity. The flexible space can be reconfigured and allows different activities to happen at the same time.
The kid zone invites children to spend time there with bright pops of color and a mix of soft and hard furniture. Custom-designed acoustic ceiling baffles both provide visual interest and dampen sound.
“The community let us know we needed a modern, expanded library, a place to connect, create, and collaborate, and we are truly pleased with how this renovation and expansion turned out,” Diane Cunningham Redden, CHPL board of trustees president, said in a statement.
One sign of the project’s success: The library had to invest in an additional computer terminal to handle the volume of checkouts.
On the Building Team:
Client: Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library
Architecture and design: GBBN
Civil engineer: Bayer Becker
Structural engineer: Schaefer
MEP engineer: Motz Engineering
Technology: BCL Enterprise
Libraries | Feb 26, 2023
A $17 million public library in California replaces one that was damaged in a 2010 earthquake
California’s El Centro community, about two hours east of San Diego, recently opened a new $17 million public library. With design by Ferguson Pape Baldwin Architects and engineering services by Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering, the 19,811-sf building replaces the previous library, which was built in the early 1900s, damaged by a 7.2 earthquake that struck Baja California in 2010, and demolished in 2016.
Giants 400 | Feb 9, 2023
New Giants 400 download: Get the complete at-a-glance 2022 Giants 400 rankings in Excel
See how your architecture, engineering, or construction firm stacks up against the nation's AEC Giants. For more than 45 years, the editors of Building Design+Construction have surveyed the largest AEC firms in the U.S./Canada to create the annual Giants 400 report. This year, a record 519 firms participated in the Giants 400 report. The final report includes 137 rankings across 25 building sectors and specialty categories.
Giants 400 | Feb 6, 2023
2022 Reconstruction Sector Giants: Top architecture, engineering, and construction firms in the U.S. building reconstruction and renovation sector
Gensler, Stantec, IPS, Alfa Tech, STO Building Group, and Turner Construction top BD+C's rankings of the nation's largest reconstruction sector architecture, engineering, and construction firms, as reported in the 2022 Giants 400 Report.
Giants 400 | Feb 1, 2023
2022 Cultural Facilities Giants: Top architecture, engineering, and construction firms in the U.S. cultural facilities sector
Populous, DLR Group, KPFF, Arup, and Turner Construction head BD+C's rankings of the nation's largest cultural facilities sector architecture, engineering, and construction firms, as reported in the 2022 Giants 400 Report. Building types include museums, public libraries, performing arts centers, and concert venues.
Libraries | Jan 13, 2023
One of the world’s largest new libraries opens in Shanghai
Designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, Shanghai Library East covers more than 1.2 million sf, 80% of it dedicated to community activity.
Libraries | Jan 12, 2023
An adjacent community center enhances South Bend’s library
This $40 million renovation and addition are part of a larger urban revitalization scheme.
Libraries | Oct 25, 2022
Stanford’s renovated library wing syncs with the region’s tech industry
Collaborative space replaces stacks.
Giants 400 | Aug 22, 2022
Top 90 Construction Management Firms for 2022
CBRE, Alfa Tech, Jacobs, and Hill International head the rankings of the nation's largest construction management (as agent) and program/project management firms for nonresidential and multifamily buildings work, as reported in Building Design+Construction's 2022 Giants 400 Report.
Giants 400 | Aug 19, 2022
2022 Giants 400 Report: Tracking the nation's largest architecture, engineering, and construction firms
Now 46 years running, Building Design+Construction's 2022 Giants 400 Report rankings the largest architecture, engineering, and construction firms in the U.S. This year a record 519 AEC firms participated in BD+C's Giants 400 report. The final report includes more than 130 rankings across 25 building sectors and specialty categories.
Cultural Facilities | Aug 5, 2022
A time and a place: Telling American stories through architecture
As the United States enters the year 2026, it will commence celebrating a cycle of Sestercentennials, or 250th anniversaries, of historic and cultural events across the land.