New Castle County Route 9 Library + Innovation Center
New Castle County Library
New Castle, Delaware
Construction Cost: $17 million
Size: 43,000 square feet
Library & Innovation Center is a library and community hub that provides access to traditional resources as well as new technologies, creative production tools, and skills development programs to the surrounding community.
Noteworthy spaces include:
• A Sensory Room, where visitors can modulate the levels of sensory stimulation to their personal preferences, will serve children at all levels of the autism spectrum. Developed in partnership with Autism Delaware and designed by Perkins+Will, this is the first sensory room in the United States designed for a public library.
• The STEM Lab (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), a Media Production Studio, and the Maker Space will inspire creativity and challenge the imagination of all patrons.
• In the Scriptorium, children and young adults will learn to hone their writing skills using both analog and digital communication tools.
• Children and adults can create together in a dedicated Lego® Room.
These featured spaces are oriented along Route 9 where they figuratively and literally connect to the greater community. Larger gathering spaces like the Black Box Performance Theater, multi-purpose room, and outdoor farmer’s market are located in proximity to the future Innovation Campus whey they can bridge between campus programs through shared use. The full-service café, set up for culinary instruction, not only complements the community gathering spaces but also serves as a training ground for those looking to enter the food service industry.
The building is meant to be transparent – welcoming and visually porous. The design utilizes a dynamic perforated metal skin, symbolic of a tree canopy that provides dappled shade, shelter, and a special place to congregate. Inspired by the legacy of a great tree under which the community once gathered, the Route 9 Library & Innovation Center will be a place for all community members to discover, engage, create, and learn.