1. Madison Public Library Central Library

    The library has been completely transformed to adapt gracefully over time, provide a user-centric environment that addresses both customer and staff needs, and offer a community destination that enhances Madison’s cultural offerings. A huge success, the transformed library has become a popular and vibrant community amenity that has spurred urban redevelopment. Since its reopening in September 2013, the third floor spaces have been continuously booked for everything from art openings and concerts to fundraisers and weddings, and new businesses have opened on adjacent blocks, further increasing the vitality of a part of the city that was previously struggling.

    Potter Lawson served as associate architect, also providing cost estimating and electrical engineering for the project.

  2. Cedar Park Public Library Proposal Concept

    The prompt for this project was to design a 40,000 square-foot library for a new mixed-use development in a central Texas suburb. Development plans included adding commercial retail and apartment housing to existing parkland. MSR Design’s concept provides a public link for these programs within a building that houses public functions, while also integrating private retail. Acknowledging the public park as the social hub of the district, the design positions the library as an inviting extension of that primary public amenity. Along one façade, the library opens onto a grand porch to embrace the social hub. Along another façade, the library acts as display backdrop for an outdoor theater and space for other community events. Along another façade, the building scale shrinks to offer a small commercial alley experience. The challenge was to create a prominent landmark building to establish a new development center piece for the neighborhood, while simultaneously referencing the visual language of the development as a whole.

  3. Louisville Free Public Library Southwest Regional Library

    The construction employs a standardized structural steel frame, similar to those used in big box retail stores. The library design focuses on creatively using common materials. Standardized components—including modular masonry, window systems, and raised flooring—form a low maintenance, highly flexible public place. Through scale and a glowing beacon bay, the building establishes a presence in a fragmented environment of scattered building types along a highway. The open, transparent interior offers inviting spaces for different generations of people to experience and clear site lines for service efficiency and enhanced interactions between library staff and customers.

    MSR’s design team collaborated with architect JRA Architects and landscape architect MKSK.

  4. K.O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library

    As a new living room for the city, the new building inspires and serves the needs of the community as a center of creativity, research, and collaboration. Its linear configuration along 3rd Avenue reflects the predominantly Craftsman/Prairie style vernacular of the railroad depots located in Aberdeen. Because of the many railroad lines that ran through the city, creating spokes connected to a hub, the City of Aberdeen is nicknamed the “Hub City.” Located near the heart of where those railroad lines first converged more than 100 years ago, the new library links the past to the future, becoming another kind of community hub, designed to connect and enrich patrons for many generations.

    CO-OP Architecture served as executive architect on the project.

  5. Hennepin County Library–Maple Grove

    The seamless design fully integrates the library and park, while a lake provides renewable, hydrothermal energy for the building. The design integrates outdoor views and spaces (such as a reading porch) to create a strong inside-outside relationship and extend the experience beyond the library walls—connecting residents to information, the outdoors, and the larger community. The building was designed in accordance with the B3 State of Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines.

  6. McAllen Main Library

    With an area equivalent to nearly 2 1/2 football fields, the building is the largest single-story library in the U.S. The designers had the old store interior and new mechanical systems painted white to form a neutral shell for patron and service areas, which are designated with color. Primary program areas—including community meeting rooms, the children’s library, adult services, and the staff area—are located in quadrants of the building. This clear organization allows easy wayfinding and customer access from a central service spine, delineated by a patterned wood ceiling that runs the length of the building.

    MSR Design led the design of the building interior and furniture selection as part of a team led by McAllen-based firm Boultinghouse Simpson Gates Architects.