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Tulsa City-County Central Library

This urban renewal project contributes to the revitalization of a second-tier city’s struggling downtown core by transforming a dilapidated, mid-century modern central library and inhospitable civic plaza into a prized community destination for active learning and creative engagement.

The design team targeted three primary goals for the project: 1. Become a downtown destination that contributes to renewal of the urban core. 2. Create a library building that responds to 21st-century library needs. 3. Be generative, positively impacting library users, the surrounding community, the library industry, and the environment.

To achieve these goals, the design team crafted a building program and architectural response that includes a revitalized, humanized civic plaza and new public garden for programming and community events; a clear, secure entry sequence in which all ways of entering the library collect into one main lobby area; a new parking garage; an interactive education center; a maker space; and a destination children’s library with direct access to the garden. Sustainable measures include improved thermal performance of the entire building envelope, daylight harvesting and lighting strategies, and the first rooftop photovoltaic solar array installed on a Tulsa building.

"This renovation is elegant and timeless; it maximizes and revitalizes the surrounding neighborhood, which would inspire me to visit more often just to experience its beauty."
AIA/ALA Library Building Award Jury
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