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Hercules Public Library / will bruder+PARTNERS

  • 00:00 - 30 May, 2011
Hercules Public Library / will bruder+PARTNERS
Hercules Public Library / will bruder+PARTNERS, © Bill Timmerman
© Bill Timmerman

© Bill Timmerman © Bill Timmerman © Bill Timmerman © Bill Timmerman + 10

  • Architects

  • Location

    Hercules, CA, USA
  • Category

  • Architect

    will bruder+PARTNERS
  • Architect Of Record

    HGA Architects and Engineers, Fred Sherman (Principal), Larry Smith (Project manager), Joe Remick (lighting design)
  • Project Team

    Will Bruder (Lead Design), Ben Nesbeitt (Project Manager), Greg Packham, (Project Architect), Rob Gaspard, Richard Jensen, Dominique Price, Nathan St. John, Eric Weber, John Puhr, Joaquin Roesch
  • Structural Engineer

    Umerani Associates, Jawed Umerani (Principal), Doug Robertson (Project Manager)
  • Mep Engineer

    Glumac Consulting Engineers, Glen Claycomb (Project Manager), Marco Alves (Mechanical Engineer), Michael Howe (Electrical Engineer)
  • Landscape Architect

    CMG Landscape Architecture, Willett Moss (Principal), Scott Cataffa
  • Civil Engineer

    Sandis Humber Jones, Jeff Setera (Associate principal), Darrell Wong (Project Engineer)
  • Lighting Designer

    HGA Architects and Engineers
  • Library Consultant

    Linda Demmers, XLibris
  • Interior Design

    HGA Interiors, with will bruder+PARTNERS, Jane Dedering (HGA Project Manager), Jodie Thill (HGA), Larry Smith (HGA), Will Bruder (will bruder+PARTNERS), Ben Nesbeitt (will bruder+PARTNERS)
  • General Contractor

    Turner Construction, Jim Coats (On-site Project Manager), Mike Betschart (Superintendent), Min Kang, Craig Jones (Project Manager), Willy Mautner, (Estimating)
  • Area

    20162.0 ft2
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

Text description provided by the architects. The new Hercules Public Library is conceived as a community gathering place and a functionally efficient vessel of knowledge and discovery. Rooted in the landscape and traditions of the town and region, the library draws from diverse eastern and western cultures—tied to the climate of courtyard missions, Eastern gardens, and Northern California.

© Bill Timmerman
© Bill Timmerman

Sited on a raised plinth, the library is a beacon from the freeway, enjoying long vistas from its reading room. The building embraces the street edge and provides a grove for the neighborhood to the east. Its long butterfly rake emerges from the hillside—gesturing to City Hall. This simple form is energized by selective apertures and a serpentine wall, giving a sense of movement on Civic Drive. Walls are vertical brick tile— a warm mosaic of the light and color of the place. At the southwest corner a ‘paper lantern’ of dual-fritted glass sifts daylight to the reading room and glows by night. Below, a glass fireplace shares a hearth with the town.


Visitors arrive at a floating silver canopy, giving onto a soft white interior; acoustic ceilings vault above carpet reminiscent of a forest floor. Directly from entry, the meeting room, conference, and homework center form a suite, secured from the rest of the building, usable after-hours.

Site Plan
Site Plan

The library is organized around a white elliptical ‘sky garden’ with a café and reading areas around a tilted moss bed and magnolia tree. International, fiction, non-fiction, and reference collections flow through the reading room, with study rooms adjacent to the garden. Teens are given their own high-energy space, and a bay window to the grove. 

© Bill Timmerman
© Bill Timmerman

The children’s library is separated from other collections, viewing onto the children’s garden. The deep blue ‘story cone’ transports kids to a magical world with a ‘butterfly shade’ to modulate skylight. The library has been hailed as a success in the community and among librarians, and has given Hercules new cause for civic pride.

© Bill Timmerman
© Bill Timmerman

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Project location

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Hercules Public Library / will bruder+PARTNERS" 30 May 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
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