Our firm was commissioned to design a branch library in Salt Rock, WV. Even with a limited budget, we encouraged our Client to allow the design to extend beyond meeting the library’s basic functional goals and to use the building as an educational tool to demonstrate environmentally sensitive design principles. The primary design move is an inwardly folded roof plane that collects 100% of the rainwater and channels it to two large above-ground cisterns. The stored water is used in warm months for landscape irrigation. Clad in stone and placed at the main entry, one cistern becomes the backdrop for the building sign, drawing attention to its function as water is seen flowing from the roof into the cistern during rainy weather.
Since its opening in 2009, circulation at the Salt Rock Library has increased by 68% when compared to its previous location, evidence that the community has warmly embraced its newest resource, meeting place and example of environmentally sound design principles.