Cedar Rapids Public Library wins AIA/ALA Library Building Award

4th Ave entire exterior during dayThe Cedar Rapids Public Library, designed by OPN Architects, has been named one of six recipients of the 2015 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards. Biennually, representatives from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Library Association (ALA) gather to encourage and recognize excellence in the architectural design of libraries.

The Cedar Rapids Public Library, designed by OPN Architects, was selected based on its many features, including abundant natural light, a geothermal heating and cooling system, and daylight harvesting strategies to minimize the buildings energy use. The green roof and use of permeable pavers across the site allow the building to retain 90% of all annual rainfall on site in underground storm water collection chambers. Inside, a spacious two-story lobby brings together all of the core patron services in a hub and spoke system. A motion-activated light wall dramatically highlights the monumental stair. Out are the imposing book stacks, the massive circulation desk and the security systems at the doors; in are shelves capped at 69 inches tall (48 inches in the children’s department), friendly checkout kiosks scattered throughout the building and a busy café / coffee shop. A 24,000-square-foot publicly accessible green roof is a prime spot for library programs and community events.

Award recipients also include:

  • Claire T. Carney Library Addition and Renovation, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth; North Dartmouth, MA
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center; Little Rock, AR
  • Mission Branch Library; San Antonio, TX
  • Slover Library; Norfolk, VA
  • Vancouver Community Library; Vancouver, WA

The jury for the 2015 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards includes: Christine Verbitzki, AIA (Chair), GUND Partnership; Drew Harrington, University of Portland; James Richärd, AIA, richärd+bauer; Clyde Scoles, Toledo Public Library; Doug Stieve, AIA, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. and John F. Szabo, Los Angeles Public Library. For more information on the award, visit http://www.aia.org/press/releases/AIAB105944.

In addition to the AIA/ALA Library Building Award, the Cedar Rapids Public Library has received the following honors:

  • 2014 Merit Award – American Institute of Architects – Central States Region
  • 2014 Interior Design Honorable Mention – American Library Association and the International Interior Design Association
  • 2014 Design is…Award – Shaw Contract Group
  • 2014 “Best Curb Appeal” Honorable Mention – GALE “Libraries Are Beautiful” Photo Contest
  • 2014 Merit Award, Illuminating Engineering Society
    First Place, 2014 ASHRAE Technology Award (Midwest region)

For more information on the Cedar Rapids Public Library, visit www.crlibrary.org or call 319.261.READ.

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2 thoughts on “Cedar Rapids Public Library wins AIA/ALA Library Building Award

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