Zinc highlights a library in the park
The new 126,000-square-foot Main Library at Goodwood serves as a focal point of Independence Park in Baton Rouge, La. The site includes the main library, a cyber café, teaching and botanic gardens, soccer fields and children’s playground, and aquatics facility.
The project was designed by The Library Design Collaborative, a joint venture between project manager Cockfield Jackson Architects, Baton Rouge, La.; interior architect of record Dewberry, Dallas; and exterior architect of record Tipton Associates, Baton Rouge. The team worked with the city’s library and parks systems to develop the new library.
Lisa Coco Hargrave, AIA, project architect at Tipton Associates, says the main library was originally identified as “The Library in the Park,” and its forms were designed to immerse library patrons in the landscape. “The program required development of memorable public spaces, unique age-appropriate library environments, significant accommodations for public meetings and access to technology while also housing the administrative functions for the entire Parish Library System,” she says.
The administrative functions are all located in a multistory “bar” along the south side. “This form was created with strategic openings and zinc canopies to provide all interior working spaces with a view and indirect daylight,” Hargrave explains. “The design solution then breaks the extensive public program into a series of transparent volumes which nestle in between established groves of oak and cypress trees.”
Carved out of the northern edge of the building to better define the volumes, a courtyard gives patrons an outdoor reading area under a canopy of trees. “This courtyard, positioned between zinc-clad building forms, allows indirect northern daylight to infiltrate further into the building,” she adds.
“The distinctive planes and angles and treatment of metal and glass, which characterize the new Main Library at Goodwood, enliven the eye and immediately announce that this is not your grandfather’s library!” says Mary H. Stein, assistant library director at East Baton Rouge Parish Library.
The designers chose zinc because it is a natural material that doesn’t require continued maintenance. And, Hargrave says, as it patinas over time, it will allow the building’s tone and texture to mature throughout its long life serving the community.
The project features 40,000 square feet of VMZinc standing seam, interlock and flat lock panels from Umicore Building Products USA Inc., Raleigh, N.C., and ALPOLIC zinc composite material (ZCM) panels by Mitsubishi Plastics Composites America Inc., Chesapeake, Va. The interlock wall panels are the most predominant panels, utilized in both 8-inch and 12-inch sizes, in both horizontal and vertical orientations. The flat lock panels are used in a soffit and fascia location at many of the eyebrow canopies, while the random waterfall pattern of the flat lock panels were utilized at the third-floor mass and continues down to the entry. The standing seam panels cover the roof of the meeting room mass as well as the roof of the eyebrow canopies. Additionally, the ZCM panels are used at the soffit location of the butterfly roof form.
Zinc complements the other building materials, including glass, St. Joe brick, decorative-faced concrete block and aluminum curtainwall with energy-efficient glazing. Louisiana Glass Inc., Baton Rouge, installed Norcross, Ga.-based Kawneer Co. Inc.‘s curtainwall and storefront system, which features Solarban 70XL Glass from PPG Industries Inc., Pittsburgh.
Additionally, zinc’s warm gray hue mimics the iron ore spots found in the local St. Joe brick. “Zinc was chosen because so many of the details could be created and constructed on-site allowing for a truly unique application, while leaving evidence that this building was truly crafted on-site by people and not simply created by machines,” Hargrave adds.
“The zinc cladding is a new material for us and its use in several inventive ways adds texture and definition to the façade … keeping us from appearing forbidding and monolithic,” Stein adds. “The lofty butterfly roof itself is not only a strong visual statement inside the second-floor adult browsing room but also serves as a water collector for the cistern, which helps us water conservation and irrigation as well as our [expected] LEED
[Gold] certification. Our staff and patrons have been delighted with the new building’s function and aesthetic.”
The judges really liked the beautiful use of materials, and said the library’s form is exceptional, awarding the project the award in the Metal Roof-New category. They also liked how the entryway with the cantilevered volume above the glass, along with how the wall panels fold into a roofing system, creates a cool-looking building.
“This new library branch is a focal point of the local community park in which it resides, and will serve the citizens of Baton Rouge and the parish of East Baton Rouge well,” says Daniel Nicely, managing director at VMZINC-US. “This award is a testament to the innovative work done by great architects and contractors working with VMZINC. We are thankful to be a part of such work.”
Main Library at Goodwood, Baton Rouge, La.
Completed: March 2014
Total square footage: 126,000 square feet
Owner: City of Baton Rouge and Parish of East Baton Rouge
General contractor: Milton J. Womack Inc., Baton Rouge
Project manager: Cockfield Jackson Architects, Baton Rouge
Exterior architect of record: Tipton Associates, Baton Rouge
Interior architect of record: Dewberry, Dallas
Glazing contractor: Louisiana Glass Inc., Baton Rouge
Metal installer: Roof Tech Inc., Stillwater, Minn.
Curtainwall/storefront system: Kawneer Co. Inc., Norcross, Ga., www.kawneer.com
Glass: PPG Industries Inc., Pittsburgh, www.ppgideascapes.com
Photos: Gilbertson Photography