King Road Branch Library

Sylvania, Ohio

Planning construction of its first new location in 20 years, Toledo Lucas County Public Library wanted to create a unique and exciting destination for their growing community. Located in a dense retail environment on a busy road, the Library’s goal was for a design with a distinct identity, setting itself apart from another TLCPL branch located in the community.

The new King Road Branch Library would combine the library’s outreach services with a new 21st century branch library allowing for more efficient operations through a sharing of resources. It would need to be extremely flexible and able to adapt to the future needs of the library and community. The program would place an emphasis on providing spaces for gathering, creating, and learning with access to technology and a new service model based on a bookstore style merchandising experience would be implemented.

Set in a field of grasses, wildflowers and river stones, the new Library has a distinct presence among the surrounding, sprawling retail area. The beauty of the exterior landscape is carried into the interior of the space using crisp, white walls that accentuate natural stone patterns/textures in the carpeting, along with the varying earth tones of the ceiling that extend in from the exterior canopy, reinforcing the continuity from exterior to interior. Dubbed by TCPL “The Pavilion”, the design takes advantage of natural light by incorporating large glass windows which mimic the motion of flipping book pages, and provides clear visibility into the Library “Pavilion” highlighting the main organizing spine of the building.

Bold accent colors along this spine contrast with the fresh white walls and define gathering, meeting and collaboration spaces. The spine is a transitional space, becoming a threshold between the Library Pavilion and a traditional book stack area housing a collection shared by the branch library and outreach services.

The Library Pavilion is designed as a very flexible, reconfigurable open space. Material is displayed to highlight the collection and create a browsable, bookstore merchandising experience. An assortment of seating types with access to technology give options for customers to read a book or study in small groups. Custom designed, geometric, interactive elements promote early literacy and provide energy and color to a vibrant Children’s Area.


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