Weber County Library System Headquarters

PrizeHonorable Mention in Landscape Architecture /
Firm LocationSalt Lake City, United States
CompanyPrescott Muir & Associates, P.C.
Lead ArchitectPrescott Muir, FAIA
Design TeamJay Lems, AIA, Partner Lisa Arnett, Partner
ClientLynnda Wangsgard, Library Director

Project construction cost: $16.69 million Building area: 75,000 square feet Site area: 8.09 acres Recent research indicates that exceptionalism in practically any field is place-based and a product of a rich and diverse cultural exchange that typically happens in what’s called a “third space”. That is not the office or home but a forum that is open to a diverse public more than just an eco-chamber of like- minded people. This is the prescription for community libraries as they reposition themselves from a facility to conserve and circulate books to one that is fully digital. Anticipating a resilient future for libraries, Weber County Libraries replaced a traditional branch library with a new Headquarters Library located in the rapidly expanding population center of Roy, Utah. Thus the new library provides considerable emphasis on community- related elements especially those that serve a broad audience. The building includes a black box theatre, a public gallery, flexible multipurpose rooms with a catering kitchen, a digitally sophisticated conference room and cyber café. The program includes a secured public reading garden that show-cases indigenous plant materials, xeriscaping and a performance amphitheater with a focus on a community gathering forum. The central natural lighted space suggests a historic reading room that opens to the south facing porch, amphitheater and garden beyond in a seamless spatial sequence. During off hours, these public amenities can be directly accessed when the library is closed and the collection secured. In essence there are two buildings within one. The reading room and satellite departments are built with a raised floor that can be easily transitioned from collection storage to digital stations and resource centers. The library showcases to the public its digital prowess by displaying its automated book retrieval system and machine room, as well as the library system’s central data center.