Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh / Knoxville Branch Library


Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Scope: Full Architectural Services, Interior Design

This project transforms a brutalist 1960s building into a warm and inviting destination for a diverse community. Formerly described as a bunker, the original concrete masonry façade was eliminated to provide ample glazing that facilitates views to the street and daylight to the interior. Small additions at the front and the side of the original building maximize the interior plan, providing a dedicated area for teens, and an expanded Children’s area with an outdoor deck. The Adult Services area was also increased and provided with discreet areas within the open space plan for a variety of activities such as computer use, casual reading, gathering, and quite study. Two meeting rooms at the lower level are available for library programs and community use. On the exterior of the building, an interactive light installation, created by Pittsburgh’s Ultra Low Res Studio, animates the Library’s façade at night. This feature was installed behind the exterior’s perforations and a computer application was developed that allows teens to customize the lighting animation from the interior of the library

Sustainable design features include LED light fixtures and a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) heating and cooling system designed for efficiency. Exterior landscaping incorporates a raingarden, and planting on the steeply sloped site to improve stormwater runoff quality and control erosion.