Hacker overhauls “fortress-like” brutalist library in Oregon

January 25, 2023 by No Comments

Vibrant furnishings and huge stretches of glass characteristic in a Seventies library constructing that has been up to date by US studio Hacker Architects.

The three-storey, concrete library is positioned subsequent to Metropolis Corridor in downtown Salem, the capital of Oregon.

Library renovation in Salem by Hacker Architects
Hacker Architects renovated the Salem library

Encompassing 96,000 sq. ft (8,919 sq. metres), the constructing was initially designed by American architect George Rockrise and Donald Richardson, and opened in 1972. An growth was accomplished in 1990.

A number of years in the past, the library launched into a renovation venture in an effort to replace the ageing facility and enhance its structural programs, notably in regard to seismic resilience.

Image of the Salem Public Library from above showing communal areas
Expanded glazing ushers in daylight

“With virtually no wiggle room in a utilitarian funds, the design group wanted to get artistic discovering methods to make each greenback spent do double-duty,” mentioned Hacker Architects, an Oregon agency with places of work in Portland and Bend.

“Via a deep partnership with the library group, a imaginative and prescient was established to create an area that’s welcoming, secure and versatile whereas enriching a connection between individuals and their group.”

Rectilinear brutalist library building with large windows on its facade
Hacker Architects added shear partitions on three sides

To enhance the seismic design, the group added shear partitions on three sides of the constructing and changed out-of-date home windows.

Expanded glazing ushers in daylight and offers the constructing a extra clear high quality.

The constructing’s predominant entrance was changed to incorporate a landscaped plaza

“The design brings daylight into the core of the massive, fortress-like constructing, reworking an inward-facing, brutalist-era constructing right into a brilliant, voluminous house that invitations the group in,” the group mentioned.

The constructing’s predominant entrance – as soon as coated by a tunnel-like cover – was redesigned to be extra inviting and supply a stronger connection to the encircling context. The library is now fronted by a plaza with landscaping and benches.

Shallow timber staircase connecting levels within public library by Hacker Architects
A brand new staircase connects the totally different ranges

Throughout the constructing, a central, double-height house was made wider, taller and brighter. Dropped tiles had been eliminated to disclose a waffle-slab ceiling and ductwork. A brand new staircase was created to attach the library’s two higher ranges and make clear wayfinding.

Programmatic zones had been shifted round and modified.

On the entry stage, the group positioned e-book stacks, studying tables, laptop stations, lounge areas and school rooms.

Youth areas, which had been previously unfold throughout the library, at the moment are co-located on the highest flooring.

Youth space within glass enclosure with carpets in the Salem Public Library
Youth areas are positioned on the highest flooring

Workers and back-of-house areas are principally discovered on the underside stage, permitting for “higher effectivity and performance”, the group mentioned. The underside stage additionally holds a maker lab, a group room and assembly house.

Inside parts embody light-toned carpeting, uncovered concrete, wood accents and vibrant furnishings.

Squat bookcases in the Salem Public Library by Hacker Architects
Bookcases had been changed with shorter variations

To create a extra open feeling and supply views of the surface, 7.5-foot-high (2.3-metre) bookcases had been changed with shorter variations. Within the youngsters’s space, curved studying nooks are included into shelving models.

Different latest library initiatives within the US embody a Brooklyn library by WORKac that its housed inside a former torpedo manufacturing unit and the renovation of a Washington DC library that was designed by Mies van der Rohe shortly earlier than he died in 1969.

The pictures is by Lara Swimmer.

Venture credit:

Structure and interiors: Hacker
Hacker group: Laura Klinger (venture supervisor and principal-in-charge); David Keltner (design principal); Jennie Fowler (inside design principal); Daniel Childs (venture architect); Anya Smith, Whitney Jordan, Tracey Olson and Mayumi Nakazato (inside design group); Nick Pectol, Caleb Sofa and Lewis Williams (architectural group); Matt Sugarbaker (venture QA/QC)
Design-build contractor: Howard S. Wright
Panorama: Floor Workshop
Civil engineer: Westech Engineering
Structural engineer: KPFF
Mechanical and plumbing engineer: PAE
Electrical engineer: PAE
Lighting: O-
Acoustical engineer: Hear Acoustics
Signage/wayfinding: The Felt Hat
Code guide: Code Limitless
Consumer: Metropolis of Salem

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