Nothing gets kids fired up about reading like polygons of bright copper and asymmetrical rooflines. At least that's the hope in South Fulton County, where the $7 million Wolf Creek Library has made an architectural splash following its recent opening. The 25,000-square-foot, LEED Silver-certified structure is envisioned as a "living room for the community" that uses gestural shapes, a warm material palette and light-filled spaces to create something that's hardly a dusty old biblioteca. The project is one of eight new libraries planned for the Atlanta-Fulton County system — many of them with similarly striking aesthetics — and the architect says it represents a major shift in library design, from stuffy quiet zones to communal gathering spaces. Maybe one day the system will be able to keep normal hours and programming so that people will come.
The libraries are funded by a $275 million Capital Improvement Program (Fulton County voters, you may recall, approved a library bond referendum back in 2008). Along with the Wolf Creek branch, Phase I includes brand-new book-lover utopias in Alpharetta, East Roswell, Milton, Northwest Atlanta, Palmetto, Southeast Atlanta and Stewart-Lakewood. Major expansions are on tap for the South Fulton Library and, in the heart of downtown, the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.
The latter project calls for a $14 million renovation and expansion on Auburn Avenue at Cortland Street, expected to open in late 2015. Other new perks at the downtown facility: a café, gift shop and 240-seat, state-of-the-art auditorium.
Which sounds a lot like Wolf Creek.
In addition to a café, the Wolf Creek branch offers Wi-Fi, a computer/learning station room, teen area, music room, a sub-dividable community meeting room for 125 people and two conference rooms with smart boards and projectors.
Architects at the Leo A Daly firm were aiming for an iconic design on a picturesque landscape of mature trees and a meadow, a few miles outside the Perimeter, due west of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Officials gave the following overview of the building's function: "Interior and exterior space is defined and uplifted by two gestures of upward movement—one copper and one stone—suggesting the 'future' for the forward-thinking Wolf Creek Community."
· Bibliophiles Rejoice! New & Improved Libraries Are on the Way! [Curbed]