DC Public Library – Southwest Library

Washington, DC
Pavilion on the Park

The new Southwest Library, a Design/Build project with Turner Construction, will replace the existing branch library at 900 Wesley Place, SW. The new library (approximately 25,000 SF) will be designed to achieve LEED Gold certification for environmental design, integrating energy and water conservation strategies and environmentally responsive materials, sourced regionally.

An emphasis on connection to the surrounding community has shaped the design development process. The library’s design strives to highlight the new park adjacent to the project, provide a sense of arrival, feature a flexible pedestrian plaza, offer a sustainable site, maximize connection to the outdoors, and allow ample natural light.

The exterior will feature an inviting porch and balcony, while natural bio-swath vegetation will enhance the park-like surroundings.

While designing to LEED Gold standards and using environmentally sensitive energy and water conservation strategies, the team is also drawing on research that has identified library trends, including increased public space, adaptable technologies that meet patron needs, and greater flexibility in the arrangement of space. The high-performance façade will capture diffused northern daylight, provide maximum visibility to the building’s surroundings, and optimize energy conservation.

“More than just another public building, the community reinforced the important civic role the library plays in reflecting the heritage of the neighborhood.”

Carl Knutson, Design Director

Sustainable aspects include a living green roof to produce oxygen and absorb runoff, along with photovoltaic panels that collect solar energy.

Project Team

Carl Knutson
Nancy Gribeluk