Morgan County Public Library

The design of the expansion and renovation for the Morgan County Public library began with a close study of the existing 1905 Carnegie. Inside, the Carnegie uses the ceiling plane and changes in volume to define space in the small but open plan. The use of tall windows and natural materials makes for the warm and inviting space that our design team learned the community loves.

These same concepts were implemented in the design of the new addition. Combining the warmth and daylighting of the space with modern detailing of materials, the design team was able to walk the delicate line between new and old – meeting the goals of the library and community to honor the past, but build for the future and continue to expand the patron base.

Programmatically, the project had to solve two key issues. First, to move the children’s department from the existing basement into a new space that was more inviting, flexible, and more accessible to amenities. Second, the library had two main access points, one at the steps of the original Carnegie building, and another at the basement level for ADA access, creating difficulty in staffing and circulation issues. On the tight-fitting site, the new addition solves both of these challenges without sacrificing user experience or design. The grade change in the site created the opportunity for dynamic spaces in the new connection from new to old, which also drove the location of the new teen space that could take advantage of level changes. This connector had to span an alley with primary city utilities still passing below, leaving the perfect place for a new outdoor reading courtyard.

Both inside and out, all authentic materials were used for respect to the existing building. The organization of windows, lighting, downspouts and stone coursing on the South and East elevations was carefully planned to repeat balance and proportions of the building. With walls using continuous R25 insulation, along with high performance glazing, and south shading, the simple building shape was set up well for the high efficiency heat pump system. This, along with LED retrofits in the existing building help drive down energy consumption.

  • Services                 Programming, Architecture, Interior Design
  • Location                 Martinsville, IN
  • Description           Renovation and Expansion - Carnegie Library