When it came time for the city of Austin create a new Central Library the developers kept community in mind every step of the way. The state-of-the-art library was just blocks from the 38-year old original facility which had become overcrowded and outdated. The new 198,000-square-foot building facing Shoal Creek overlooks Lady Bird Lake and features open, airy meeting rooms and a flexible event space that can host readings, lectures, screenings, concerts, or other performances, and even cooking demos. Natural light fills the expansive six-story atrium and highlights the modern architectural features of the new library. The library also achieved LEED Platinum certification, the highest of any library in the U.S. with the idea of being sustainable for at least 100 years and having the least possible impact on the environment.
Crowned by an outdoor rooftop deck using Bison 2×2 Ipê Wood Tiles and adjustable HP-Series Pedestals, the garden rooftop deck features native plants and a butterfly habitat available for both library patrons and special events with sweeping views of the Austin skyline. The rooftop garden’s plants are local flora mirroring the neighboring habitat. Along with Bison’s natural Wood Deck Tiles, the rooftop’s aesthetic is meant to mimic the surrounding environment and link the built space with nature.
Location: Austin, TX USA
Completion Date: 2017
Architects: Lake|Flato and Shepley Bulfinch
Photographer: Leonid Furmansky