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A Modern Library for a Rural Community: Rendering of Front Elevation from Across the Street
A Rural Information Node

The rolling forms of the John Day Public Library link the building to its context, as both a reflection of the neighboring Painted Hills, and as a reminder of the constantly shifting and physically morphing history of the site itself.

A Rural Information Node

The rolling forms of the John Day Public Library link the building to its context, as both a reflection of the neighboring Painted Hills, and as a reminder of the constantly shifting and physically morphing history of the site itself.

A rural information node.

As traditional, current, and emerging media hybridize, public libraries must not only adapt for the storage and access of new and combined media types, but also must adapt for the ever-widening base of user-types: they must evolve to become the “modern library.” From the socially-networked to the solace-seeking reader, the John Day Public Library leverages the discrete room to allow each user to find a spot ideally suited for their application. A light and flexible structure facilitates both activity and reflection, helping to bridge the age-old gaps between knowledge storage, access, and application.

A Modern Library for a Rural Community: Contextual Site Plan
Contextual Site Plan

Just off the main road through town, the project site lies in the transitional zone between commercial and residential neighborhoods, perfect for a community library.

Context is everything.

Successful buildings always consider their surroundings in as many ways as possible, including physically, contextually, culturally, and environmentally.

A Modern Library for a Rural Community: Diagram - Daylighting & Shading
Daylighting & Shading

Long east/west and narrow north/south floor plates allow for controlled daylighting with shaded windows along each southern edge, while a complementary line of clerestory glazing runs along each northern edge.

Daylighting & Shading

Long east/west and narrow north/south floor plates allow for controlled daylighting with shaded windows along each southern edge, while a complementary line of clerestory glazing runs along each northern edge.

A Modern Library for a Rural Community: Diagram - Alternative Energy
Alternative Energy

A panelized roof system with large southern-facing surfaces allows for solar heating of water used in hydronic radiant heat floors. The roof alignment also provides the opportunity for the addition of solar power, if the economics make sense in the future.

Alternative Energy

A panelized roof system with large southern-facing surfaces allows for solar heating of water used in hydronic radiant heat floors. The roof alignment also provides the opportunity for the addition of solar power, if the economics make sense in the future.

A Modern Library for a Rural Community: Diagram - Contextual Connections
Contextual Connections

The Maker Studio is rotated 16 degrees off the cardinal grid of the neighboring residential community to align with the historic Kam Wa Chung building, which is culturally important to the community.

Contextual Connections

The Maker Studio is rotated 16 degrees off the cardinal grid of the neighboring residential community to align with the historic Kam Wa Chung building, which is culturally important to the community.

A Modern Library for a Rural Community: Multi-Use Central Courtyard
Multi-Use Central Courtyard

Whether the building's pivoting panels are open or closed, the central courtyard expands the functional space of the building beyond its walls.

A building that breathes.

When the weather allows, pivoting wall panels can lift open to extend space for larger gatherings, or just let in a little fresh air.

A Modern Library for a Rural Community: Floor Plan
Floor Plan

The building’s layout consists of a series of connected nodes: sheltered, but linked, spaces for the varied programs that a rural community library supports. This allows what could otherwise be incongruent or disruptive activities to occur even at the same time.

Designing in plan and in section.

While the sinuous walls and roof structure require a sectional perspective for design, the library is designed carefully in plan also, where the ordered spaces don't even hint at the undulating curves above.

A Modern Library for a Rural Community: Building Section
Building Section

The dramatic rolling arches of the building provide an architectural opportunity for sunlight to enter the space, then be reflected before landing in the room. This creates a diffuse, indirect natural lighting effect that reduces glare, and protects the library's content from UV damage.

John Day Public Library: Concept Model Three-Quarter View
Concept Model, Three-Quarter View

A concept model explores the restructuring of a physical book to diagrammatically represent how the information within the pages might be organized and managed in digital form.

A concept model.

A concept model explores the restructuring of a physical book to diagrammatically represent how the information within the pages might be organized and managed in digital form.

A Modern Library for a Rural Community: Study Models
Study Models

A conceptual study model explores the implications of a high-density, terminal-accessed shelving system.

Study models.

The construction of physical models helped to explore the initial design concept, as well as aspects of the habitable spaces. Study models explore structure, intersection, and the surface where the digital components are integrated into the building itself.

A Modern Library for a Rural Community: Daylighting Study Model
Daylighting Study Model

A study model explores how light would enter and reflect within the space.

A Modern Library for a Rural Community: Movie Night in the Courtyard
Movie Night in the Courtyard

During the warm, dry summers of eastern Oregon, the library can host community-building movie nights in the courtyard. The films are projected directly onto an exterior wall, designed expressly for this purpose.

A multiplicity of roles and functions.

The importance of a library as a center for community engagement must never be overlooked. By providing quiet reading spaces as well as areas for animated discussion, the John Day Public Library provides a foundation for both chance meetings and planned events, such as a community-building summer movie night in the courtyard.

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