Architecture People & Places


AIA-ALA Library Design Awards

A new atrium and interior structure replaced the original book storage structure inside the north wing of the St. Louis Central Library, renovated by Cannon Design. Photo: © Timothy Hursley
A major renovation of Cass Gilbert's Central Library building (1912) in St. Louis, Missouri is one of six projects to receive a 2013 AIA/ALA Library Building Award. The transformation focused on modernizing the facility and improving public access. Cannon Design restored the library's  Great Hall and four surrounding wings, while at the same time significantly adapting a fifth wing and creating a new atrium.

This adaptation involved removing a cramped book storage structure and replacing it with new, more generously proportioned spaces that seem to float within the building's original envelope. Use of glass balustrades throughout this wing, and improvements to glazing on the north wall result in a light open and inviting space.

The St. Louis Central Library also underwent major upgrades to lighting and other building services.

The awards jury comprised Jeanne M. Jackson, FAIA, Chair, VCBO Architecture; John R. Dale, FAIA, Harley Ellis Devereaux; Charles Forrest, Emory University Libraries; Kathleen Imhoff, Library Consultant; J. Stuart Pettitt, AIA, Straub Pettitt Yaste and John F. Szabo, Los Angeles Public Library.

The full list of winning library buildings includes:

Photo: Mark Herboth
Anacostia Neighborhood Library, in Washington, D.C.
by The Freelon Group

Photo: © Timothy Hursley
Central Library Renovation, in St. Louis, Missouri
by Cannon Design

Photo: © Michael Moran
New York Public Library Hamilton Grange Teen Center, in New York, New York
by Rice+Lipka Architects

Photo: Mark Herboth
James B. Hunt Jr. Library, in Raleigh, North Carolina
by Snøhetta and Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee

Inside the Hunt Library reading room. Photo: Mark Herboth

Photo: Luis Ayala
Oak Forest Neighborhood Library, in Houston, Texas

Photo: Bill Timmerman
South Mountain Community Library, in Phoenix, Arizona
by richard+bauer

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