The Hercules Library’s innovative design evolved out of a community planning process that included surveys, public workshops and input from civic organizations. The architects transformed the community’s ideas into an award-winning building that gives library patrons and visitors a welcoming environment in which to learn, explore ideas, be entertained, and come together.
The 21,500-square-foot library has state-of-the-art technology, and reference and research services. Its collections of books, CDs, DVDs, and other materials are tailored to serve the lifelong learning and recreational needs of all residents of this diverse city.
Its architecture gorgeously and effectively provides library users with a diverse range of spaces. Some areas feel meditative, others invigorating.
At its heart is an open-air Sky Garden that gives access to the outdoors. Floor-to-ceiling windows bring daylight inside and provide a view of the garden’s centerpiece, a full-grown magnolia tree.
Other special features include a fireplace area for relaxed reading, a computer/homework center, community meeting rooms, the Friends of the Hercules Library Bookstore, a teen center, and a large children’s library. Two innovative spaces are the Story Cone and the Children’s Garden, designed to delight younger kids and stimulate their imaginations.
The vertical bricks on the exterior suggest books standing upright on library shelves. Vaulted ceilings rise toward the fireplace corner, where expansive windows allow the library to glow with light, visible from a long distance and providing a beacon to the community.
Hammel, Green and Abrahamson, Inc. (HGA)
Will Bruder + Partners
CMG Landscape Architecture
Contractor: Turner Construction Company
American Institute of Architects:
AIA Arizona Design Award
Citation Award, AIA Arizona
Honor Award, Excellence in Architecture, AIA East Bay
Honor Award, Excellence in Architecture, AIA San Francisco
International Interior Design Institute:
Honor Award for Government/Municipal Project, IIDA Wisconsin
First Place Design Award, IIDA Wisconsin