South Mountain Community Library / Richärd+Bauer

© Bill Timmerman

Architect: Richärd+Bauer
Location: , Arizona
Client: Maricopa County Community Colleges District, City of Phoenix
Size: 54,600 sf
Cost: 16.3M
Completion Date: August 2011
Photography: Bill Timmerman, Mark Boisclair Photography

© Bill Timmerman

This new 51,600 square foot facility combines the functions of a modern public library with the components of a state of the art central campus library. The library includes a 200 seat multifunctional meeting room, conference and multimedia center, high tech classrooms, computer center, quiet and interaction rooms, as well as all the components of both public and academic libraries. A children’s library and storytime room are organized below the academic story telling institution with vertical connection to the exterior courtyard dedicated to the children’s use.

© Mark Boisclair Photography

The building is modeled after the architecture of an integrated circuit, providing insulation between disparate functions and promoting interaction and connection between like functions and spaces. Academic programs affiliated with those within the public library are organized around vertical interconnected spaces; providing a discrete connection while maintaining critical organization within each discipline.

© Mark Boisclair Photography

Natural light is brought deep into the floors below through a series of triple insulated clerestory monitors and light shafts. The interior of the building is lined in an acoustical cedar wood, frosted and laser cut acrylic panels reflect patterned abstractions of the agriculture that once was an integral part of the community. An accessible flooring system allows for continual reorganization of the building, while all services are distributed by a continuous illuminated distribution circuit, accessible throughout its length for flexibility. The articulated skin of weathering copper is designed to provide a naturally ventilating skin, and triple layered insulated clerestories provide a high performance enclosure.

Sections – Courtesy of

Design Team: James Richärd, AIA (designer + principal-in-charge), Kelly Bauer, NCIDQ, FIIDA (project manager + interior design), Stephen Kennedy, AIA, NCARB, Andrew Timberg, AIA, LEED AP (project architect + construction administration), Will Craig, RA (construction administration)
Staff architects: Mark Loewenthal, LEED AP, Alex Therien, RA, NCARB, LEED AP, Brant Long, RA, LEED AP, Stacey Crumbaker, NCIDQ (interior design + signage), Claudia Saunders (interior design), Melissa Pulsifer, SEGD, AIGA (graphic design + signage)

MEP Engineer: Energy Systems Design, Inc.
Structural Engineer: Rudow+Berry
Civil Engineer: Dibble Engineering
General Contractor: Haydon Building Corp
Landscape Architect: Kimley-Horn & Associates
Acoustical Consultant: McKay Conant Hoover
Lighting Design: Roger Smith Lighting Design
Library Building Consultant: Drew Harrington Associates
Const. Delivery Method: CM@R

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Cite: "South Mountain Community Library / Richärd+Bauer" 07 Nov 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>