The new Barboursville Public Library serves as a center for knowledge in its community, providing access to books, technology, and activities. The building’s first level features reading spaces for adults as well as private study rooms that provide a quiet space for individual learning. An outdoor reading room on the first floor is designed to accommodate a full class of students for learning and activities. The children and young adult resources are located on the second floor, providing a level of security to the space. Glass encloses the second level, designed to visually connect spaces in the library and retain acoustic separation. A media lab provides gaming and coding resources to young adults while a play area and activity room cater to children, emphasizing the importance of spaces for visitors of all ages.
The high-performance building design features insulated concrete form construction, geothermal wells for heating and cooling, and a 71-kilowatt solar array.
The exterior forms are clad in contrasting tones, using bronze, metal panels and a pearl-colored fiber cement rainscreen which resonate with the natural materials and earth-toned palette of the interior. Natural materials such as stone and laminated timber were carefully selected to reflect the context of the surrounding area through a modern lens.
The project is sited across the street from the village’s elementary school and located much closer to the middle school than the previous library, allowing for improved access by classes during the day as well as by students visiting the library after school. The site presented several challenges, specifically an active rail line along the southern edge, an active baseball field to the east, and a senior center to the north. The building form hinges to parallel the trajectory of the rail line, directing the front façade and entry toward the main pedestrian and vehicular access points.