Downtown Salt Lake City's Public Library - Recently Completed - 2006 Library of the Year
Moshe Safdie’s Salt Lake City Public Library is a dramatic Modern building that recognizes the continuing civic importance of the library in new and compelling ways. A glass-covered, curved walkway borders the stacks. Opposite the stacks are remote reading areas, accessible by bridges, with views of the Wasatch Mountains. The building won an AIA Honor Award in 2004 and an AIA/ALA Library Building Award in 2005...
...New Salt Lake City Library Uses Therma-Floor® for "Urban" Development
Cheers and applause burst from the hundreds of onlookers who came to see the opening of the new 65 million dollar City Library. The 240,000 square-foot-structure features limestone, glass and exposed girders,offering panoramic views of the Wasatch Mountains and plenty of natural light.
In the library's new Urban Room, radiant heat was used because it warms objects, not air. The five story wide open area would have been difficult to heat with a conventional system as the warm air rises, with the possibility of overheating upper floors.
Therma-Floor was selected to cover the radiant heating tubes because of its high strength (typical range of 2,000 to 3,000 psi (14 to 21 MPa) and ability to handle heavy foot traffic, evident by the 16,000 people who visited the library on opening day.
The City Library, "Library Journal's Library of the Year"
Information provided by the Library Journal:
The new Main Library in Salt Lake City embodies the idea that a library is more than a repository of books and computers - it reflects and engages the city's imagination and aspirations. The building is double the previous space with 240,000 square feet for more than 500,000 books and other materials, and room to grow the collection. The six-story curving, walkable wall embraces the public plaza, with shops and services at ground level, reading galleries above, and a 300-seat auditorium. A multi-level reading area along the glass lens at the southern facade of the building looks out onto the plaza with stunning views of the city and Wasatch Mountains beyond. A roof-top garden, accessible by walking the crescent wall or the elevators, offers a 360 degree view of the Salt Lake Valley. Spiraling fireplaces on four floors resemble a column of flame from the vantage of 200 East and 400 South. The Urban Room between the library and the crescent wall is a space for all seasons, generously endowed with daylight and open to magnificent views.
Natural light is introduced into all of the spaces where people sit and work. Infused with light from all sides, the library has paid careful attention to ensure that library materials and technology are not affected by direct sunlight. The clear glass on the lens of the triangle has the highest UV rating available for energy efficiency. Indirect lighting fixtures reflect off the painted, arched ceilings to cast even light, reducing glare on computer screens, desk surfaces, and book pages.
Library patrons expressed the desire for even more from the City Library collections - a request that challenged the library to provide more depth and enlarge both the scope and breadth of the collections. For the past three years, collection development librarians have selected and acquired more than 80,000 new items. This brings the collection size for the new Main Library close to 500,000 items and the total library system collection to 750,000.
The Children's Library is a light-filled, five-story atrium which may be observed from all of the floors above. Moveable, translucent "clouds" may be pulled across the space to provide shade when necessary. Along the outer edge you will find space for coats, backpacks, and strollers; a small room in which parents may attend to the needs of their babies; and an alcove filled with multimedia equipment loaded with educational games and learning programs. A large craft and story room houses many of the children's programs. Two special spaces are tucked under the reflecting pool of the plaza. Designed to free a child's imagination, these rooms are places for dreaming, playing, reading, and inventing. Grandmother's Attic recreates the coziness of an attic with wood beams and a trunk of dress-up clothes. For something a little more fantastic, the sparkling Crystal Cave is sure to fire a child's imagination. During the summer months, children can enjoy the adjacent terrace where gently flowing waterfalls cascade down the walls - a feature designed to cool the area and provide a calming but visually interesting background. The area also offers a space for outdoor storytimes during the warmer Utah months.
The City Library System has made a strong commitment to reaching out to and serving young adults. Designed to appeal to teens, the Canteena contains materials of high interest for that age group as well as literature published especially for them. The media and technology in this area encourage group study as well as individual exploration. A cantilevered stair takes teens directly from the Canteena to the cafe.
Newspapers and Magazines
On display are more than 600 newspaper and magazine titles to which the library subscribes. Current issues of these titles are on display; back issues are shelved in the periodical stack area of the library. Older magazines and newspapers are housed in the closed stack area to preserve materials that are often fragile and easily damaged. Even as more current material is available online, the demand for back issues and microfilm continues. This treasure trove of information is the only resource of its kind between Denver and San Francisco.
Audiovisual and Technology Centers
Library materials now include not only books, but audiocassettes, compact discs, videocassettes, DVDs, and CD-ROMs, in addition to visual materials such as art prints and slides. Three small rooms in the audiovisual area allow patrons to preview these materials before checking them out. The technology center and training lab offer 42 computer stations with Internet access; an additional 121 Internet computers are located throughout the building. The computers in the technology center have been partially provided through a Gates grant, and staff is available to assist users as they write papers, work on resumes, and develop computer skills.
Languages and Literacy
As the population of Salt Lake City becomes more diverse, the need for materials in other languages has steadily increased. This new area provides books, magazines, and newspapers in 25 languages, and language study materials for people learning English as well as those learning other languages.
by Timothy Hursley
The library has a small but very interesting collection of old and rare materials, plus examples of various types of publishing and items of special significance to our region. The fragile nature of these collections requires that they be used in this room.
Browsing Library and Cafe
The Browsing Library on the first floor makes it easy for patrons to find popular, current, and high demand items. The librarians in this area take great pleasure in discussing your reading interests, helping you find more books like the ones you've recently enjoyed, and introducing you to new authors and subjects.
A place to relax with a cup of coffee was one of the most requested services by the public. The City Library is pleased to be able to provide this space next to the Browsing Library where you can enjoy a drink or snack from The Salt Lake Roasting Company.
Gallery at Library Square
The City Library has a long history of supporting the arts through a program of changing exhibits. These exhibits expose thousands of Salt Lake City residents to a wide variety of art media - paintings, watercolors,drawings, collage, photography, and sculpture - created by talented artists.
by Timothy Hursley
Finding Your Way
As you move up in the building from floor to floor, you may notice that it gets quieter. This effect is by design, with the more active and noisier areas of the library on the lower levels giving way to the reference and study-oriented areas on the upper levels.
On each level of the library, as you exit the elevator or come up the stairs, you will find a building directory and signage designed to help you orient yourself. The layout and design of the book stacks helps direct you to various service areas as well as to the restrooms, copy machines, public telephones, and water fountains.
Public Plaza and Landscaping The architects sought to link the library and City Hall as companion buildings in support of civic engagement. A granite water wall provides a cooling atmosphere and flows into a wedge-shaped garden. A reflecting pool under the base of the glass lens offers a respite from the warmth of Utah's summer sun. The public plaza was designed to create opportunities for community festivals, events, and celebrations. Funding has been provided through some of the Olympic revenues to complete the east side of the block as a peaceful urban green space.
The plazas, water features, and gardens of the new Main Library are designed in the same spirit of other great public spaces - a place to meet friends, relax with a book, watch a concert, participate in a debate or celebrate the city.
The Project Team
Moshe Safdie and Associates, Inc.
Moshe Safdie, FAIA, Lead Designer
Isaac Franco, AIA, Project Manager