City of Los Angeles, Department of Libraries

Valley Plaza Branch Library

Los Angeles , California
Project Status: Completed
Approximate Total Project Area: 10,500 gsf

Recipient of the AIA/SFV Design Excellence Award, the one story building, positioned at the southeast edge of an expansive public park, stands upon a raised platform giving an impression of the building rising up and reaching out to the community.  The unique shape of the building not only defines the edge of the park, but conceptually functions as a gateway, uniting the open space of the park landscape and the community.

 Restricted along two sides of the property by a deepwater well system and a childcare center, in combination with an elevated freeway bisecting the park area, it was a challenge to provide both sufficient natural lighting and acoustical isolation from freeway noise. However, by utilizing sun control glazing in strategic locations, over 75 percent of the facility is exposed to natural lighting,

 A palette of materials were selected that both emphasized and differentiated the functional zones of the library.  A full height glazed wall provides transparency to the park, while a thickened smooth plaster wall runs through the entire structure providing a datum for the users.  In addition, a full height composite metal panel system defines staff area while also reflecting natural light from the adjacent skylight.