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Rand Pinson

Austin Central Library

Posted by on 1/23/12 at 07:30pm

Above: View Along Cesar Chavez Looking East

The New Central Library will give Austin residents an iconic landmark and a flexible facility that reflects the city’s rich cultural and social fabric. The new 190,000 square foot library will be located along the banks of Shoal Creek and overlooking Lady Bird Lake. The library will help define the western portal to downtown and provide a welcoming community gathering place.

Seating and reading spaces wrap the sunlit Atrium, spilling onto screened Outdoor Reading Porches that overlook Lady Bird Lake. In addition to a reading room and dedicated areas for children and teens, the library features a mix of lively and contemplative spaces that support imaginative programming. This includes a 350-seat event forum for presentations and performance; display and demonstration areas; community meeting rooms and art collections that encourage discovery.

The design embraces Austin’s environmental commitment: in addition to the generous use of natural light, the project includes energy-efficient systems focused on reducing water use and the building’s overall carbon footprint. These include rainwater harvesting and a vegetated roof. The facility offers a 200-car garage, a dedicated bike porch, and proximity to public transit, a hike-and-bike trail, and the Lance Armstrong Bikeway. It is pursuing LEED certification.

The joint venture partnership between Lake|Flato & Shepley Bulfinch have engaged city official, library staff, and a wide range of Austin residents with inclusive planning & programming throughout the design process. Check out images from the most recent presentation.

Above: northeast view

Above: view along bikeway

Above: interior atrium [courtesy of Shepley Bulfinch]


Above: interior atrium [courtesy of Shepley Bulfinch]

Above: reading porch [courtesy of Shepley Bulfinch]

Above: view from Lady Bird Lake

  • beachiebw

    Is it difficult for a new building to prove it saved energy and waste for a living building certification? Where I live people other than planners invested in it by their training don’t believe in LEED anymore, since it does not require actual effectiveness.