Commerce Central Library
Commerce, CA

The renovation of the City of Commerce's Central Library presented a unique opportunity to develop an innovative solution for a growing city. In 1960 the City of Commerce seceded from the City of Los Angeles after the larger city threatened to close the regional library. Since incorporation, the City of Commerce continued to grow into its present vibrant commercial and industrial hub. The library, however, has remained untouched in its original converted 1960s era warehouse and is in dire need of a complete overhaul.

Initial investigations of the site revealed a series of north facing saw-tooth clerestory windows that had been roofed over and hidden from view by a suspended ceiling below. By recapturing the clerestories which run the full width of the library space, daylight becomes the primary source of daytime illumination, significantly enhancing the reading areas as well as adding to the sustainability of the project.

The primary design element for the project is a wood-clad, folded ceiling plane that derives it's geometry from the existing structural condition of the warehouse and unifies the open plan space with a singular formal gesture which continues out to the exterior entry canopy. An exterior café space, new entry patio, reflecting pool, and planted area with a "donor's wall" further enhance the exterior spaces of the library and give it a visually rich and unique identity within the surrounding complex of city offices. Current library planning techniques, state of the art technologies and a rich palette of warm materials and refined finishes will give the City of Commerce a library that both connects with its past and will serve as a community resource well into the future.

13,600 SF
2008

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