Out with a Walmart. In with a Library.
Via MS&R Architecture:
After Wal-Mart abandoned one of its retail stores in McAllen, Texas, the city decided to reuse the structure as a new main library.
The primary challenge of reusing the building was to create a highly functional, flexible library of 124,500 square feet on a single level. This area is equivalent to nearly 2 1/2 football fields, making the new library the largest single-story library in the U.S. To meet this challenge, the designers had the old store interior and new mechanical systems painted white to form a neutral shell for new patron and service areas, which are designated with color. Primary program areas—including community meeting rooms, the children’s library, adult services, and the staff area—are located in quadrants of the building. This clear organization allows easy wayfinding and patron access from a central service spine, delineated by a patterned wood ceiling that runs the length of the building. A secondary spine in orange bisects the first to further distinguish the public community meeting rooms from the private staff area and the children’s from the adult services areas.
According to PSFK, new user registration at the library increased 23% the first month it was opened.
Images: Various sections of the McAllen library. Liking “Area 3918” (lower right) which was created to mimic a spy cave, is used primarily by teens and is acoustically separated from the rest of the library. Via MS&R Architecture.
Select any to embiggen.