New Library To Offer Perks to Patrons
Last updated 2/15/2018 at 12:20pm
With the new library building coming together on Country Club Road, locals and visitors who pass by see the beginnings. But what will the structure be like when it’s done end of this year, and how will it be an improvement for community members who use it?
Architect Raul Diaz, in Borrego recently for a regular site visit, took time to talk about the project, designed by RNT Architects, Inc., based in San Diego.
In addition to the off-the-ground design—necessitated by guidelines set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency--the most striking exterior feature may well be its roofline, butterflied in mid-century modern style. Sixty piers each 30 inches around (and sunk to a depth of 50 feet) will hold the structure aloft, “giving the building some civic presence,” Diaz said, as well as accentuating horizontal desert beneath it. Inside, extensive glass will take advantage of the vertical views.
“It strengthened our concept to lift it up, build it on piers,” Diaz said. “We kept a tight footprint, keeping as much of the natural landscape as we could.”
Patrons who drive to the new library will enjoy covered parking spaces—and those covers, made of Solar panels, will serve two purposes: shade for vehicles and more than enough energy to service the building.
If more Solar is needed, it could be added atop the butterflied roof without being visible.
Wifi will be everywhere. Separate areas have been designed to house a computer lab and a 3-D printer. And laptops will be available for check-out.
For those wanting to use those laptops outdoors or those who just want to sit outside and read, an option will be “Poet’s Patio” a canopy-shaded terrace facing Christmas Circle. Adjacent to the patio will be the community room, approximately three times the size of the current community room and outfitted with movable audio-visual technology and a grid on the floor for power and data. A partition will allow the room to be split when needed.
Patrons will also discover “Polaris Plaza,” an area for setting up telescopes that will be blocked off from local lights.
RNT Architects bring much experience to this project, having designed libraries in Lemon Grove and Oxnard as well as a number of high school libraries in the county. Phoenix-based interior designers Richard + Bauer also specialize in libraries.
Landscape design is by Encinitas-based Coastal SAGE, which has extensive experience in Tucson; landscape subcontractor is Fredericks Services of Borrego.
When the new library was still in the planning phase, the RNT team—Diaz, along with Ralph Roesling and Brandon Martella – held workshops and community meetings to take into account the concerns and wishes of Borregans.
The churches, for example, were concerned about traffic and noise; hence the library’s main entrance is off Country Club, not Sunset. And the park has been planned to pull activity towards the center of the land.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had such an engaged community on any project,” said Roesling.