Los Gatos Library
Updating a public library to facilitate a design that inspires community conversation and openness.
Porcelain exterior cladding lends this California library a smart new façade.
“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The new Los Gatos Library closed the chapter on the city’s 1960s–era, outdated facility and heralded the entrance into a space meticulously envisioned for modern community interaction.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 was selected for the $12.7 million project which had been in planning for nearly 20 years. The firm approached design with the idea of openness and community conversation in mind. They took design inspiration from the form of a lantern to create an inviting, open structure with optimized day and night illumination, constructed of light materials.
Porcelain tile was chosen for exterior and interior cladding.
The architects chose an Amber colorway for its classic yet contemporary appearance, echoing the convergence of books and technology. Porcelain tile 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, and withstands outdoor elements all through the seasons.
With superior technical properties, the 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.
Inside and out, the Los Gatos Library is an inviting place that has welcomed a new chapter in this community’s very special story.
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