King County Library System
Square Footage: 20,000
2011 Honor Award
AIA Northwest and Pacific Region Design Awards
To accommodate the growing city of Sammamish, the Sammamish Library relocated to a larger site to build a new facility within the Sammamish Commons. The new building is sited immediately to the south of the Civic Plaza edge. Large expanses of glazing and programmatic elements such as the meeting room, cyber bar and teen area overlook the plaza. A plaza seat wall and landscaped zone greet visitors.
The library's main reading and stack area contains skylights and clerestories of both translucent and clear vision glazing to reduce the need for artificial lighting and create a warm and inviting space. This main space terminates in a great reading room concept that draws people to the glazed edge with views to the west overlooking the nature preserve, Olympic Peninsula and Seattle skyline. A gas fireplace in a concrete finish and glass enclosure provides a central gathering point in this great reading room. Wood elements mark a progression through the library and include the entry lobby signature wall, meeting room walls and ceiling and lower column enclosures in the primary reading room. The children's area overlooks the new eastern lawn, which includes a reflexology path, native plantings and a grove of birch trees.
Sustainable design practices have been a top priority in the development of the site and the building. In order to reduce the impervious surface on the site, parking is located under the building with an elevator to access the library floor. In addition, the library's lower roof is planted with low maintenance, native sedum to reduce water runoff. Water runoff from the exposed parking area is infiltrated into the site through pervious surface parking and an on-site rain garden. The new library features a highly insulated and efficient building envelope designed to reduce heat gain and loss while maximizing passive solar gain and daylighting. The primary cooling and heating for the building is through a radiant slab with a mechanically assisted ventilation system.