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Tulsa Central Library

When the library opened in 1965, it was envisioned as a modern temple for books and an integral part of a new civic plaza, designed in the spirit of urban modernism. Fifty years later, the neglected urban potential left the civic plaza looking tired, deserted, and unsafe. This revitalization establishes connections between inside and outside to promote a modern, urban setting and to create a positive patron experience.

Design objectives include activating exterior spaces, increasing safety, simplifying entry into the building to one location, and adding a parking garage. The project also features a new public garden and programming space between the library and parking ramp. Inside, the transformation opens up and consolidates interior spaces; expands space for public interaction; introduces a new, highly interactive education center for research and development of learning practices; and replaces all the building systems. Sustainable goals target maximizing the regenerative impact on the community, urban fabric of downtown, and library programming and operations. The design focuses on the health and well-being of all building occupants, as well as minimizing long-term effects on the environment.

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