Kirkwood Public Library | New Castle, Delaware

22,500 SF | children’s library | young adult reading | information technology center | EMS station
The Kirkwood Public Library is inspired by lessons learned from the polemical text of architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown in the interest of creating a community center along a busy American highway. The library is situated on Kirkwood highway which is populated with strip malls and fast food restaurants. The objective was to create a new branch library for a growing diverse neighborhood that would serve as the iconic community center among the strip shopping centers and parking lots. The generative idea was to create an iconic building in an otherwise unremarkable landscape as a billboard expressing its function to the community. The image of the building as one passes by it is that of abstracted stacks of books piled on their side expressed in horizontal cement board siding. The building is designed as a roadside billboard that announces itself as a civic building for reading, learning and exploration.