King County Library System, Washington
2008 AIA BIM Award, Honorable Mention
2008 DBIA NW Design Build Awards, Best Overall Building Project
5 Design/Build Branch Libraries
Miller Hull and BNBuilders formed a design build team for the design & construction of 5 King County Libraries:
• Muckleshoot Library - 6,000 square feet (expandable to 10,000)
• Snoqualmie Library - 6,000 square feet
• Black Diamond Library - 5,000 square feet
• Fall City Library - 5,000 square feet
• Carnation Library - 5,000 square feet
Each library replaces an older, outdated building. Some have been located in the exact same place as the original, some were sited elsewhere on the same property, and others were design designed and constructed on a different piece of property that better serves its growing community. Each branch devotes space to collections for adults, teens and children. Also included are new technologies, public space (and meeting rooms), and customer service. Behind the scenes areas include administration work space and maintenance functions.
The modern library functions more like a community center and gathering place than the library of the past. Learning and exploring are still the main functions, but the way they are achieved is more open and inclusive. The new libraries serve as the "heart of the community," a place where local organizations meet, citizenship classes are taught, political activity takes place, KCLS programs are conducted, materials are lent, and used books are purchased. Meeting rooms function as quiet study areas when meetings are not being held.
Though the branches are small, they are vital to each community and have been designed to have significant street presence, a transparency that advertises goings on and invites the user. Each branch is designed for its population and reflects the distinctive character of each community.