The Hennepin County Library takes the Grand Award
Integral, well thought out and necessary: that’s what the 2016 MCN Building and Roofing Award judges called the roof on the new Hennepin County Library-Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Park, Minn., the Grand Award Winner and the Metal Roofing-New Construction category winner.
The library replaces a 40-year-old, 15,000-square-foot library. At approximately 40,000 square feet, it focuses on flexible space that maximizes the library staff’s ability to create new areas for engagement and learning. The facility utilizes a raised access floor throughout a majority of the building, a new innovation designed for maximized flexibility. The access floor allows mechanical, electrical and plumbing pipes to be placed beneath it avoiding the need to have ductwork and conduit overhead. There are also over 300 air diffusers in the floor that create an upward air flow to minimize sound and improve air quality.
Large Vaulted Ceilings
Though the library is a single-story facility, it features three, large, vaulted ceilings and a massive vaulted butterfly ceiling in the entryway and southeast portion of the building. The three areas create intimate settings separated from the main portion of the library. The library has seven private study rooms named after types of raw materials such as zinc, iron and slate. The rooms have custom-patterned wall coverings inspired by various cultures around the world.
Sloped roof forms provide identity and way finding for the main entry and become identifiable forms for each of the main library collections: adult, children and teen. Each primary collection was given a living room, which acts as a primary gathering point. “Through the use of a sloped roof, users are able to make a visual and physical connection from their interior experience to the building form,” says Jesse Zeien, AIA, project architect at HGA Architects and Engineers, Minneapolis. “The standing seam roof [made of Raleigh, N.C.-based Umicore Building Products’ VMZ panels in 0.8-mm QUARTZ-ZINC] was used in conjunction with the zinc fascia to aesthetically tie the sloped roof forms together with the butterfly roof entry.”
The building’s exterior is just as unique, utilizing an array of building materials including hand-chipped Virginia slate, Holland, Mich.-based Dri-Design custom metal panels made of Umicore Building Products’ VMZINC in 1.5-mm QUARTZ_ZINC, and stained cedar siding. Zinc was selected because it is a fully recyclable material, from construction scrap through end of use. Judges said they loved the detailing on the wall paneling, calling it beautiful. They further cited the staggered jointing on it and the integration of the accent panels that mimic what’s happening on the soffits.
“The primary exterior vocabulary of slate, zinc metal panels and sloped roofs are inspired by local residential neighborhoods and world culture agrarian vernacular precedents; influencing a material palette and form which is civic and contemporary; but comfortable and inviting,” Zeien says.
As part of the design process the team explored many panel sizes and patterns for the metal panel façade. “These studies where reviewed and modified based on supplier input to come up with an aesthetic that fit the design intent and was very efficient based on raw material size, panel spans, framing and manufacturing waste; creating a very cost effective system that met the design intent without compromises,” Zeien says. “The 1.5-mm Dri-Design panels were used to create a large scale rhythm and pattern which related to textiles of world cultures. These larger panels where used to contrast the smaller grain of the hand-split, stacked slate and natural wood siding. The warm, wood soffit of the entry canopy links the interior and exterior through the material as well as the use of pattern and texture.”
The continuous zinc fascia aesthetically ties the sloped roof reading rooms and flat roof library collections together with the butterfly roof entry lobby and canopy. “It was a challenge for the design and construction team to ensure the metal panels tied together the building forms in a cohesive manner,” Zeien says. “Through finessing these geometries, relationships from one element to the next, and coordination of final metal panel detailing, it resulted in a continuous roof line that tied all the forms together.”
St. Michael, Minn.-based Progressive Building Systems installed all the metal wall, soffit and roof panels for the library. “This was the hardest project I’ve ever worked on,” says Jeremiah Masters, national sales/project manager at Progressive Building Systems. “To meet the design intent, there were a lot of funky angles on this project. The fabrication of the metal panels was the biggest challenge [for us] with all the dimension busts. All the funky angles on this building were the cause of these, but we were able to overcome this with a lot of patience. There was a lot field measuring, and there was a lot of back and forth between us and Dri-Design.”
“As the manufacturer, Dri-Design has a level of quality practices in place to ensure the integrity and performance of our panels,” says Jason Zeeff, vice president of sales for Dri-Design. “Our technicians work closely with the design and installation teams to ensure we meet each and every project goal. We look at each project as an inspired challenge set out by an architect’s and building owner’s vision, and we go to work for them to prove how our metal panels can create a feeling and recreate a natural setting or mood. Different textures, sizes, projections and angles created by the Dri-Design team transform a building, such as this library, to another level.”
The design also incorporates two pieces of public art: a hand-welded steel bike rack representing an Ojibwa canoe and a large mural, which spans across two interior walls. The outdoor space features a community butterfly garden, donated by the library’s general contractor Knutson Construction, Minneapolis, and built by Autumn Ridge Landscaping, Sheboygan, Wis.
The project follows the State of Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines (B3) to meet the sustainable goal of 60 percent more efficient than a similar building. Several sustainable strategies are undergoing feasibility assessments including ground source heat pumps. Initiatives include a raised-access floor for heating/cooling, efficient air handlers with energyrecovery wheel, daylighting with occupancy-sensor lighting controls, all LED interior and exterior lighting, and low-maintenance landscape.
“We see this new library as becoming a center piece for the Brooklyn Park community,” says Lance Hornaday, general manager, Knutson Construction. “The spaces, designed by HGA Architects and Engineers, are very unique and offer flexibility to ensure it’s an exciting place to continue to visit for years to come. We are extremely proud of the way it has turned out and what it will offer the community
Sidebar: Hennepin County Library-Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Park, Minn.
Completed: November 2015
Total square footage: 39,000 square feet
Building owner: Hennepin County Library
Architect: HGA Architects and Engineers, Minneapolis, www.hga.com
General contractor: Knutson Construction, Minneapolis, www.knutsonconstruction.com
Landscape architect: Damon Farber Landscape Architects, Minneapolis, www.damonfarber.com
Metal installer: Progressive Building Systems, St. Michael, Minn.,
Metal wall panels: Dri-Design, Holland, Mich., www.dri-design.com
Zinc supplier: Umicore Building Products USA Inc., Raleigh, N.C.,