Los Gatos Library
Case Study: Los Gatos Library, Los Gatos, California
“A city with a great library is a great city.”
This bumper sticker phrase holds lots of truth. Community libraries are points of civic pride, as they are built for the good of the citizenry—for everyone to experience and enjoy. The city of Los Gatos, California—population 30,000—understands the value of a “great library” firsthand. In 2012, Los Gatos welcomed the opening of its new library, a beautiful, 30,000–square–foot place anchoring the Civic Center and providing a location for those of all ages to come together for reading, learning and discovering.
The new Los Gatos Library closed the chapter on the city’s 1960s–era, outdated facility and heralded the entrance into a space meticulously envisioned for modern community interaction. Situated next to Town Hall on Main Street, the library is home to a generously–sized children’s area, teen meeting areas, computer bar and technology lab, as well as an outdoor patio. The intention is to encourage conversations, a unique take that veers far from the hushed quiet of libraries of the past.
Architectural firm Noll & Tam, selected for the $12.7 million project which had been in planning for nearly 20 years, approached design with the idea of openness and community conversation in mind. The firm took design inspiration from the form of a lantern to create an inviting, open structure with optimized day and night illumination and constructed of light materials.
Crossville contributed construction material in the form of the NOW porcelain tile series for exterior and interior cladding. The architects chose the NOW Amber colorway for its classic yet contemporary appearance, echoing the convergence of books and technology the building houses and providing a fresh tone to enhance the lightness of the overall design. Crossville’s porcelain tile as exterior cladding provides not just the appearance the building requires, but the performance as well. The material aids in regulating the temperature, helping to manage overall energy costs (not sure tile has any effect on this, might want to choose another attribute – such as ease of installation or something), and withstands outdoor elements across all seasons.
With superior technical properties, Crossville’s exterior cladding fits right in with the many forward–thinking building solutions incorporated into the structure. The library features solar panels and “smart” building technology that enables staff to reduce energy costs by monitoring power usage throughout the building. Banks of windows, glazing, skylights and louvers make the most of daylight hours, while white and artificial illumination carry the building’s brightness into the night.
Outside and in, the Los Gatos Library is an inviting place that has welcomed a new chapter in this community’s very special story.
Architectural Firm: Noll & Tam
General Contractor: Bogard Construction
Tile Distributor: Butler Johnson
Tile Manufacturer: Crossville, Inc.
Photos Courtesy of: David Wakely Photography
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