Friday, February 6, 2009

Library/Arizona: Scottsdale Arabian Library Wins Smart Environment Award

Bridgette Steffen / January 28, 2009 / Inhabitat.com

Borrowing books from the library is the responsible and environmentally friendly thing to do, and this new library in Scottsdale Arizona makes us want to use the library all the time. Designed by Richärd + Bauer, the Arabian Library utilizes great green building design and innovative new thinking to encourage people to lend from the library. Not only that, but the building is gorgeous, inviting, brightly lit, and a recent winner of the 2008 IIDA/Metropolis Smart Environments Award.

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The building itself is shooting for LEED Silver rating and is constructed primarily from local materials. The structure’s pre-rusted steel, granite, and recycled cotton insulation all came from nearby towns in Arizona. There are charging stations for alternative-fueled vehicles and the parking lot itself is reused from a previous building. Ceilings are made from recycled perforated MDF board and the hanging lighting fixtures can be moved as needed, giving the sense that the library is a big living room where Herman Miller chairs provide comfortable seating. Indoor air quality is also carefully considered and the building utilizes low VOC paints, and a HVAC system that circulates air in a underfloor system.

Richärd + Bauer’s library was inspired by the beautiful slot canyons of Arizona, which are suffused with light streaming down from above. Full length windows draw in light from the interior courtyard and views of the surrounding mountains are carefully framed to block views of busy road on the west side of the building.

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