Location: New Buffalo, Michigan
This exciting new facility evolved from a 2008 needs assessment, which recommended doubling the size of the existing 7,300‐sf library. As a result, a decision was made to demolish the existing library and reutilize the site. Site design challenges were successfully overcome, maximizing the building footprint while satisfying the need for pedestrian and vehicular activities on the very compact site. Transforming a significant change in elevation into a positive design element also became a feature of the building placement.
Native limestone is used on the exterior, set below traditional clapboard siding painted in a nautical hue. The lakeside feel is further reinforced by a marine style cable rail system around the raised patio. This patio has a powder‐coated steel pergola to provide shade and a sense of place. This interior accessed patio is a favorite spot to read a book while enjoying the views.
The dynamic design met the long‐range programming needs, provided an efficient layout for public and supporting staff areas, and presented an inviting cottage‐like atmosphere. The entry welcomes patrons into a gallery like lobby which is directly adjacent to a large community room, accessible for after hour meetings and dividable into two separate spaces for efficient and flexible use. The main floor flows into the vaulted primary reading and stack areas, which offers easy recognition of the various library functions and clear oversight from the circulation desk.
The pitched roof scheme consists of SIPS panels over a wood and steel truss structure. This provides opportunities for eyebrow dormers to introduce natural light into the building center and contributes to an architectural scale and style which is complementary to the resort community.
The success of this creative design solution may best be measured by the significant increase in circulation since the completion of the facility.
Area: 16,600 sf
Completion Date: August 2014
Construction Cost: $3.8 million