Sitting in contrast to the desert climate of its setting, a gathering of mature and verdant Aleppo pine trees rest in the east side Las Vegas neighborhood that serves as the site for the new East Las Vegas Library. The design of the library seeks to preserve and emphasize this distinctive landscape by integrating it into the gathering spaces that are central to the library’s connection to the community.
The barrio and the plaza serve as architectural archetypes that reference the culture and traditions of the diverse neighborhood. Sited delicately so as to avoid disturbing the landscape, the library’s materials and form relate to the neighboring architecture. Undulating shade canopies intermixed with the existing pine trees throughout the plaza celebrate the main entry into the building. A flexible library space is defined by the orthogonal grid of the structure and the folding form of the roof structure above. Glass to the north and south of the main library space creates transparency through the building connecting the public plaza to the south through the library and out to Bonanza Road to the north.
The building is defined primarily by three zones: the main library area, the multi-purpose area, and business center. The main library supports traditional library services along with spaces for community based outreach programs including family activity room, green screen and recording studio, multi-generational living room, café, and a mobile maker space. The multi-purpose area includes a large divisible meeting room, demonstration kitchen, greenroom and dressing room, and pre-function gallery space. The business center supports the local workforce with classrooms, print center, collaboration space, meeting rooms and counseling services. Both the multi-purpose areas and the business center have after-hours access, including the café, via the exterior plaza and utilize security curtains to be split from the main library space during those times. For long term flexibility the primary library area is a large singular open space that is placed on access floor allowing the library to reconfigure to meet future needs. The building layout and utility routing provides the library the option of future expansion. The new East Las Vegas Library integrates 21st Century Library Design Principles and Sustainable practices.