The West Valley Library project successfully transformed an existing non-functional library into a state-of-the-art learning center and a living room for the community.
This project entailed the renovation and expansion of an existing library in the Reseda area of Los Angeles. The building’s interior was gutted, while the building’s exterior walls and glazing were preserved, along with the basic structure. New mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems were installed and some elements were added to the building’s structure for seismic reasons.
The exterior of the original building was plain and boxy. The renovation exposed its structure and introduced generous exterior light into interior spaces, while screening windows to minimize solar exposure. Existing window screens were removed and a new Kalwall canopy system was introduced. By employing an awning format for the canopy, the visual width of the walkways around the building was increased, making them more pleasant places to be.
Sloped interior ceiling planes were introduced to: expose and enhance views of the building’s existing roof truss system; introduce more light to the interior; and draw people’s attention to the existing clerestory windows.
A Community Room, added at the front of the building, expanded on the philosophy of the original building by exposing its structure. A sloping roof was employed to provide a high north-facing wall of glass. This creates a dramatic interior for the community room and provides a significant light element at night to announce the building.