The Seattle Public Library's Magnolia Branch presents a quintessential example of twentieth century Northwest architecture. Designed by Seattle architect Paul Kirk and landscape architect Richard Haag, the branch opened in 1964; in 2003 it was designated a Seattle landmark. The renovation and expansion, part of the Libraries for All bond measure, create new architectural relationships with the original structure, and repair and upgrade the original building and its systems.
The renovation and expansion honor the existing building and site, and create warm, inviting spaces served by state of the art energy, computer, and library systems. The project received a 2009 Washington State AIA Civic Design Award, an award from Historic Seattle and was an AIA DJC Project of the Month.
The new meeting room shares a level of design clarity with the existing building while departing from its frame structure. The flexible space provides a dignified civic gathering area and an intimately-scaled window seat for children’s story time.
The new meeting room and a group study space are joined to the original library through the after-hours entry. A board-formed concrete wall forms a narrow addition that expands the staff work area. High windows and a carefully sculpted ceiling admit and control daylight.
The new meeting room is intimate and open, sheltered and visually connected to the landscape. Carefully placed windows bring in daylight and frame views to landscape elements.