Benning Library / Davis Brody Bond

© Paúl Rivera - archphoto

Architects: Davis Brody Bond Aedas
Location: , USA
Co-Lead Designers: Peter Cook, AIA & J. Max Bond, Jr., FAIA
Project Team: Christiane DeJong, AIA, LEED AP, Jeffrey Harrigan, Nathan Hoyt, FAIA, Andrew McGee, Cody McNeal, LEED AP, Charlie Salinas
Contractor: Forrester Construction Company
Structural/Civil Engineer: Delon Hampton
Geotechnical Engineer: Professional Consulting Corporation
Mechanical Engineer: JVP Engineers
Lighting Consultant: MCLA
Landscape Architect: Lee and Associates
A/V, Security, IT: Polysonics
Elevator Consultant: Williams-Huntt & Associates
Furniture Management: Fahrenheit, LLC
Cost Estimator: S.C. Meyers & Associates, Inc.
Community Outreach: Circle Point
Owner’s Representative: A-1 Construction
Project Area: 22,000 sq ft
Project Cost: $10,000,000
Project Year: 2008-2010
Photographs: Paúl Rivera – archphoto

Benning Library is located on a sloped site along Benning Road, N.E. The building is terraced into the terrain allowing access from both Benning Road at the upper level and from a commercial shopping area at the lower level. The two floors of the facility are connected by a public stair inside the building, creating a space which encourages pedestrian circulation through the library in order to connect one street elevation to another. Benning Library utilizes a warm color palette of earth tones and a panel facade to complement its residential setting. Approximately 315 panels chosen for the exterior reflect the sun and provide a warm glow in the late afternoon.

lower level plan
upper level plan

The completed facility includes community spaces on the lower level including a 100-person multi-purpose room, two 12-person conference rooms and a public gathering and exhibition space. The upper level of the library houses the library’s collection, which on opening day included 40,000 books, DVDs, CDs and other library materials. The library has space to allow the collection to expand to up to 80,000 items. Additionally, the upper level features separate reading areas for adults, teens and children, as well as the children’s program area. Five small study rooms offer opportunities for quiet study or tutoring sessions. The library has 32 computers for public use.

© Paúl Rivera - archphoto
© Paúl Rivera - archphoto

Designed to meet LEED Silver Certification, Benning Library incorporates a vegetative green roof, a displacement air system, solar control and daylight management and extensive use of recyclable and renewable materials. The quality and nature of light was an important factor in the design approach. The library is situated in a bowl-like condition with ample southern exposure.

Products in this project

Floor: Armstrong, Lees Carpets

  • Vinyl composite tiles by Armstrong
  • Mohawk carpet by Lees Carpets

Furniture: Vitra, KI, Herman Miller , Spacesaver

  • Children’s area seating by Vitra
  • Tables by KI
  • Seating by Herman Miller
  • Shelving by Spacesaver

Mobile Partitions/Suspended Ceilings/Raised Floors: Icestone

  • Countertops by Icestone

Walls: PANELITE, Armstrong, Knoll

  • Modesty panels by PANELITE
  • Acoustic wall panels by Armstrong
  • Wall panel fabric by Knoll

View this project in Google Maps

* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Benning Library / Davis Brody Bond" 01 Aug 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 26 May 2015. <>
  • ygogolak

    Nice, light interiors, but that carpet in the main space is ugly.

  • António João Antunes

    Space well organized.