A library that spans a river and a 1970s building wrapped in terracotta panels are among the seven winning projects in the 2016 Library Building Awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
Presented annually by the AIA in collaboration with the American Library Association, the Library Building Awards recognise exemplary facilities around the world that are designed by US-licensed architects.
This year’s winning projects, which are located in both small towns and major cities, were selected by a jury of industry professionals.
Also among the seven recipients are a curved building in Chicago’s Chinatown that incorporates Feng Shui design principles, and a new university facility in Toronto inspired by the historical gathering spaces of Ancient Greece.
The projects reveal how libraries have adapted over the years to societal shifts, said the AIA. No longer just book repositories, libraries today often include communal spaces, coffee shops and multimedia elements.
“Libraries are now outward-looking, busy and engaging community places accessible by all,” said the jury’s chairperson, Lynn Grossman, a vice president at Cannon Design.
“Books are central to these libraries, but so are meeting and activity spaces, equal access to computers and special study areas.”