Contract - Book Light: Noll + Tam Architects design Valley Hi-North Laguna Library in Sacramento, Calif.

design - features - education design



Book Light: Noll + Tam Architects design Valley Hi-North Laguna Library in Sacramento, Calif.

21 March, 2011

-By Amy Milshtein


Libraries do more than hold books. They are a place to nurture minds young and old with education and entertainment. They offer spots for meeting, opportunity, and growth. The best of them democratically define a community by providing something for everyone. The new Valley Hi-North Laguna library in Sacramento does that and much more, thanks to a cost-effective, green design by Noll + Tam Architects.

The new library replaces a smaller storefront branch to service Sacramento’s rapidly growing suburban south side. “It’s a low-income, low-educational achievement community,” says Lois Casement Ross, library project manager, Sacramento Public Library. With 35 percent of the population under the age of 18, a children and teen area was extremely important. Twenty percent of the population is English language learners, and 26 percent don’t have a high school diploma. “These statistics colored many of our choices, especially in what materials and media we would stock,” says Ross.

The biggest influence in the structure’s design, however, was Sacramento’s commitment to green building. The city demands that all public buildings meet a minimum of LEED Silver. The library goes above and beyond that, achieving a LEED Gold rating and exceeding California Energy Code Title 24 by 34 percent. Noll + Tam employed several techniques to achieve these impressive numbers.

First, the designers strategically oriented the building with long facades facing due north and due south to optimize daylight while shielding the windows from direct sun. The tiled roof is angled ideally for photovoltaics. Solar laminates eventually will be attached, creating a visually unobtrusive, cost-effective solution that will provide an estimated 12 percent of the building’s energy.

The design team reduced energy consumption further by incorporating insulation into the building’s concrete tilt-up slabs to preserve interior heat. The application is so new that no computer models exist to calculate the thermal benefits, but the team won an incentive grant from the local utility to commission modeling analyses, proving the method’s high thermal capabilities. The thermal mass feature is enhanced by the addition of a mixed-mode displacement ventilation system that allows natural air to cool the building at night.

The library is more than just efficient. It stands as a welcoming beacon in what was once empty farmland. “We wanted to build a marker; something that would jump out of the landscape,” says Noll + Tam principal Chris Noll. The library takes the form of an open book, with a V-shaped roof that allows in as much light as possible. “The tower at the end of the building works like a super graphic, and at night it glows. You can see it from miles away,” he adds.

Inside the designers organized the spaces along that open book’s steel spine. “The concrete path is a straight shot that leads right through the building,” says Trina Goodwin, interior designer and project architect at Noll + Tam. The spine takes patrons through to distinct spaces for children, teens, three study areas, a learning center, and a computer lab with Internet and world processing. There also are generous community spaces, like a meeting room that holds up to 100 people and a food court. One central service desk allows staff to greet incoming patrons while keeping an eye on the children and teen areas. The self-check-out kiosks are positioned for maximum convenience.

Robust materials, rounded forms, and bright, lively furnishings bring excitement to the interiors. “It’s deceptively simple,” says Noll. “The ceiling hides all the mechanicals.” Clean and welcoming, the design balances just the right elements of warmth, welcome, and respect. “The client was really open to lots of color,” remembers Goodwin. “In fact, they initially wanted more.” Light pours through the space from the glass curtainwall and two skylights, which adds to the lure. “It’s so bright we often don’t need to turn on the lights,” says Ross.

The library has been a huge hit. Circulation is up 120 percent from its old space, and on the weekend the space bustles with activity. Families come to work on projects or take advantage of the free wireless to Skype with far-away relatives. “We wanted to increase the technology offerings and learning opportunities,” says Ross. “This space really allows us to serve the community.” The café and community room are also well used.
As part of a public park, the library eventually will share programs and services with a community center to be built right next door. Because it was a new structure on a new street, the library building committee was granted an unusual honor: “We got to name the street,” remembers Ross. “It was going to be Library Lane, but we decided on Imagination Parkway.”


who
Client: City of Sacramento. Architect: Noll & Tam Architects. Interior designer: Trina Goodwin. Contractor: Sundt Construction, Inc. Lighting: Alice Prussin Lighting Design. Engineering: Ingraham DeJesse Associates, Inc. (Structural); JTS Engineering Consultants, Inc. (Civil); Guttman & Blaevoet (MEP). Landscape: The HLA Group. Graphics: MW Design. Acoustician: Walsh, Norris & Associates, Inc. Furniture dealer: Hogue. Photographer: David Wakely Photography.

what
Paint: Dunn-Edwards Paints. Flooring: Scofield Systems Lithochrome Color Hardener (concrete stain). Carpet/carpet tile: Durken Commercial. Ceiling: Versa-Dek. Decorative Ceiling Feature in Teen Area: 3-Form; DaisyCake. Lighting: Peerless, Prudential, Kenall, Gotham, Borden. Window treatments: MechoShade. Lounge seating: Knoll, KI. Cafeteria, dining, auditorium seating: Knoll (teen and café). Other seating: Steelcase (yellow wavy bench). Conference table: Agati (library tables), Bretford (teen table beneath oval decorative ceiling feature). Shelving: Spacesaver, Systems and Space. Architectural woodworking: River City Millwork, Inc. Planters, accessories: Cliff Garten (stainless steel and mahogany bench sculpture, entitled “Mad Hatter”).

where
Location: Sacramento, Calif. Total floor area: 20,500 sq. ft. No. of floors: One. Total staff size: 8.5. Cost/sq. ft.: $530.



Book Light: Noll + Tam Architects design Valley Hi-North Laguna Library in Sacramento, Calif.

21 March, 2011


David Wakely Photography

Libraries do more than hold books. They are a place to nurture minds young and old with education and entertainment. They offer spots for meeting, opportunity, and growth. The best of them democratically define a community by providing something for everyone. The new Valley Hi-North Laguna library in Sacramento does that and much more, thanks to a cost-effective, green design by Noll + Tam Architects.

The new library replaces a smaller storefront branch to service Sacramento’s rapidly growing suburban south side. “It’s a low-income, low-educational achievement community,” says Lois Casement Ross, library project manager, Sacramento Public Library. With 35 percent of the population under the age of 18, a children and teen area was extremely important. Twenty percent of the population is English language learners, and 26 percent don’t have a high school diploma. “These statistics colored many of our choices, especially in what materials and media we would stock,” says Ross.

The biggest influence in the structure’s design, however, was Sacramento’s commitment to green building. The city demands that all public buildings meet a minimum of LEED Silver. The library goes above and beyond that, achieving a LEED Gold rating and exceeding California Energy Code Title 24 by 34 percent. Noll + Tam employed several techniques to achieve these impressive numbers.

First, the designers strategically oriented the building with long facades facing due north and due south to optimize daylight while shielding the windows from direct sun. The tiled roof is angled ideally for photovoltaics. Solar laminates eventually will be attached, creating a visually unobtrusive, cost-effective solution that will provide an estimated 12 percent of the building’s energy.

The design team reduced energy consumption further by incorporating insulation into the building’s concrete tilt-up slabs to preserve interior heat. The application is so new that no computer models exist to calculate the thermal benefits, but the team won an incentive grant from the local utility to commission modeling analyses, proving the method’s high thermal capabilities. The thermal mass feature is enhanced by the addition of a mixed-mode displacement ventilation system that allows natural air to cool the building at night.

The library is more than just efficient. It stands as a welcoming beacon in what was once empty farmland. “We wanted to build a marker; something that would jump out of the landscape,” says Noll + Tam principal Chris Noll. The library takes the form of an open book, with a V-shaped roof that allows in as much light as possible. “The tower at the end of the building works like a super graphic, and at night it glows. You can see it from miles away,” he adds.

Inside the designers organized the spaces along that open book’s steel spine. “The concrete path is a straight shot that leads right through the building,” says Trina Goodwin, interior designer and project architect at Noll + Tam. The spine takes patrons through to distinct spaces for children, teens, three study areas, a learning center, and a computer lab with Internet and world processing. There also are generous community spaces, like a meeting room that holds up to 100 people and a food court. One central service desk allows staff to greet incoming patrons while keeping an eye on the children and teen areas. The self-check-out kiosks are positioned for maximum convenience.

Robust materials, rounded forms, and bright, lively furnishings bring excitement to the interiors. “It’s deceptively simple,” says Noll. “The ceiling hides all the mechanicals.” Clean and welcoming, the design balances just the right elements of warmth, welcome, and respect. “The client was really open to lots of color,” remembers Goodwin. “In fact, they initially wanted more.” Light pours through the space from the glass curtainwall and two skylights, which adds to the lure. “It’s so bright we often don’t need to turn on the lights,” says Ross.

The library has been a huge hit. Circulation is up 120 percent from its old space, and on the weekend the space bustles with activity. Families come to work on projects or take advantage of the free wireless to Skype with far-away relatives. “We wanted to increase the technology offerings and learning opportunities,” says Ross. “This space really allows us to serve the community.” The café and community room are also well used.
As part of a public park, the library eventually will share programs and services with a community center to be built right next door. Because it was a new structure on a new street, the library building committee was granted an unusual honor: “We got to name the street,” remembers Ross. “It was going to be Library Lane, but we decided on Imagination Parkway.”


who
Client: City of Sacramento. Architect: Noll & Tam Architects. Interior designer: Trina Goodwin. Contractor: Sundt Construction, Inc. Lighting: Alice Prussin Lighting Design. Engineering: Ingraham DeJesse Associates, Inc. (Structural); JTS Engineering Consultants, Inc. (Civil); Guttman & Blaevoet (MEP). Landscape: The HLA Group. Graphics: MW Design. Acoustician: Walsh, Norris & Associates, Inc. Furniture dealer: Hogue. Photographer: David Wakely Photography.

what
Paint: Dunn-Edwards Paints. Flooring: Scofield Systems Lithochrome Color Hardener (concrete stain). Carpet/carpet tile: Durken Commercial. Ceiling: Versa-Dek. Decorative Ceiling Feature in Teen Area: 3-Form; DaisyCake. Lighting: Peerless, Prudential, Kenall, Gotham, Borden. Window treatments: MechoShade. Lounge seating: Knoll, KI. Cafeteria, dining, auditorium seating: Knoll (teen and café). Other seating: Steelcase (yellow wavy bench). Conference table: Agati (library tables), Bretford (teen table beneath oval decorative ceiling feature). Shelving: Spacesaver, Systems and Space. Architectural woodworking: River City Millwork, Inc. Planters, accessories: Cliff Garten (stainless steel and mahogany bench sculpture, entitled “Mad Hatter”).

where
Location: Sacramento, Calif. Total floor area: 20,500 sq. ft. No. of floors: One. Total staff size: 8.5. Cost/sq. ft.: $530.
 


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