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Austin Central Library
Project Type:
Public Library, Dining, Bookstore, Art Gallery
Project Location:
710 W Cesar Chavez Street
Austin, Texas 78701
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Awards and Acknowledgements:
AIA Committee on the Environment:
2020 Top Ten
Design Features:
Daylighting, Atrium, Rooftop Pollinator Garden, Rainwater Harvesting
Project Summary:
Located in downtown Austin, Texas, and overlooking Shoal Creek and Lady Bird Lake, the new Austin Central Library is a building shaped by light and designed to respond to the context of its place. Before design began, the project team set aspirational sustainability and design metrics for the project. Two primary sustainability goals for the library were determined: It would be the most daylit library in the country, and it would serve as a water conservation model for buildings in the region.

The heart of the building is the six-story atrium, which provides daylight for more than 80 percent of regularly occupied spaces. The client envisioned an iconic, civic hub where locals could connect with their community by pursuing a variety of interests. The facility is based on flexible, blended spaces, including indoor collections and reading rooms, outdoor reading porches, maker spaces, outdoor dining, a technology center, café, bookstore, 350-seat event center, art gallery, demonstration kitchen, and 200-car parking garage. Integrated artworks, interspersed throughout the library, enhance this technology-focused environment by showcasing local and national artists. The unique rooftop pollinator garden and reading porches draw visitors to connect with nature. The library is a technology-rich innovation hub that promotes scholarly inquiry and cultural intelligence. Serving as the new western portal to downtown, the library establishes a major civic presence and community gathering space in the heart of Austin.

A 373,000-gallon rainwater harvesting system, reused from existing infrastructure, provides water for landscape irrigation, restroom plumbing fixtures, and the landscaped rooftop pollinator garden. The Austin Central Library is the first city of Austin public project to achieve LEED Platinum certification. It is a model for sustainable resource use and library efficiency while promoting visceral connections to collections, history, culture, and place.

(Source: AIA COTE 2020)
Tapestry Statistics:
2020-05-28 16:38:48
2020-05-28 18:07:25
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Design and Construction Team:
Lake | Flato
Shepley Bulfinch
Architect, Interior Design
ADA Consultant
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
Building Enclosure
Hensel Phelps
Construction Management
Cost Estimator
Clanton & Associates
Electric Lighting
Harutunian Engineering
Electrical Service
Datum Engineers
Structural Engineer
Jose I. Guerra, Inc.
Mechanical Engineer
Urban Design Group PC
Civil Engineer
Baer Engineering & Environmental
Environmental Consultant
Fire Protection
Cosper & Associates
Food Service Consultant
WestEast Design Group
Furniture Procurement
Coleman & Associates
Landscape Architect
HOLOS Collaborative
LEED Consultant
Datum Engineers
Parking Consultant
Integral Group
Photovoltaic Consultant
Water Consultant
News Articles:
Nic Lehoux
Nic Lehoux
Lara Swimmer
Lara Swimmer
Nic Lehoux
Nic Lehoux
Nic Lehoux
Nic Lehoux