The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Library Association will award six libraries with the 2019 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards for excellence in architectural design. You will find each project and a brief description from the AIA below. For more information, click the project name or image.
Perkins + Will Canada Inc.
Situated in one of Toronto’s post-war suburbs, this new library relies on its graceful gestural form and colorful facade to promote engagement. It assumes a vital role in a community that has become an arrival point for new immigrants, offering traditional services as well as cultural orientation, social integration, enhancement of employment skills, and access to technology.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)
A new hub for academic and intellectual life in the heart of Barnard College’s campus in New York City, the 128,000-square foot Milstein Center represents a crossroads for students, the community, and partners across the city. A place for interdisciplinary scholarship, the center reflects the college’s approach to curriculum and the synthesis of all forms of knowledge and data.
Snøhetta and Dialog
On a former brownfield infill site in rapidly expanding Calgary, this new library can accommodate more than twice as many annual visitors as the previous facility. Fitting seamlessly into the complex urban condition surrounding it, the library boasts a generous 75,000 square feet of entry plaza and outdoor amphitheater that allows its lively programming to spill outside.
Photo: Steve Lerum.
Invigorated by Colorado College’s commitment to carbon neutrality, this new library embraced the net-zero mentality from the start. The project follows the planning principles and recommendations set forth in the college’s long range development plan and focuses on open space, flexibility, environmental stewardship, and moments of social and intellectual engagement.
MSR Design and JRA Architects
With its angular forms and industrial materials, this library reflects human intervention in the natural world while celebrating its organic surroundings. Sitting in a 100-year-old forest in an area where clear cutting for development has long been the custom, the project harnesses sustainable design to create a flexible and responsive program.
Noll & Tam Architects
Flexibility is key for this new library, which operates in a 270-square-mile service area along California’s coast in San Mateo County. As the primary community facility for the large region, the library was designed to meet the needs of a diverse population, including immigrant and non-English-speaking residents.