Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh / Main Library Facility


Location: Pittsburgh, PA
2005 Pittsburgh Chapter AIA Award
2006 Info Comm/Archi-Tech Magazine Grand Prize Award

The team provided architectural services for the renovation of the Carnegie Main Library of Pittsburgh, the first free public library in the United States. The library established three goals for the project: to make the library a destination, increase user-base, and make information more accessible to users.

Meeting these goals required an investigation into 1) the customers who use the library and 2) the way they search for information. From this information, the team developed a plan for an efficient, user-based facility that would assimilate the library’s digital, physical and human resources, allowing users to locate useful information quickly.

This design employs a system of glass panels as a technological platform for the display of current events, resources and relevant items from the library’s collection in response to each user’s search. Gracefully assimilated with the historic architecture of the existing building, the panels reveal new possibilities for discovery while allowing advanced resources and groundbreaking user technologies to coexist with the time-honored sophistication of the nation’s first free public library.