Architect: Natalye Appel + Associates Architects, Architect Works, Inc., James Ray Architects
Location: Houston, Texas, United States
Project Team: Natyle Appel, FAIA, Donna Kacmar, FAIA, James Ray, AIA, Alan Creech, AIA, Stuart Smith, AIA
Project Area: 1,115 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Natalye Appel + Associate Architects
The Oak Forest Branch Library Renovation by Natalye Appel + Associates Architects brings much-needed renewal to a significant piece of its North Houston community. Originally built as a modern building in 1960, the library had become outdated and inept. Although the original building was liked by the neighborhood, it was not readily accessible in the wake of nearby strip center development.
The reformation involved most notably an expansion of the library to include adult and teen wings to the East that frame the new public entrance. Also among this is a new outside reading area under the large oak and pine tree canopies. The South façade is mostly glass to allow plenty of natural light into the new children’s reading space, leaving most of the original library open for updated offices, restrooms, mechanical areas, and other staff spaces.
In the end, this renewal effort helped to re-establish the library as a positive staple in its community, and the recycling and reclamation of materials for such a remarkable overhaul earned it LEED Gold Certification.