Text description provided by the architects. Hockessin Public Library is a 15,000 square foot addition and renovation in New Castle, Delaware that includes a children's library, general collections, Hockessin archives, audio visual collection, information technology, and community meeting rooms. Designed by ikon.5 architcts, the expansion of the library is a floating glass pavilion in a park.
The existing library site is bounded by a major road to the north, parking to the west and wetland to the east, leaving only the possibility for expansion to the south. The south side of the side overlooks a densely vegetated county park, but is restricted by a 100 year old flood plain within close proximity to the existing library. To avoid this barrier the expansion cantilevers over the floodplain and projects into the landscaped park.
Taking advantage of its suspended position on the edge of the park, the addition is made primarily of glass allowing views of the park to envelop the interior space which houses the children's library and creates an exciting learning environment for families. Filled with natural light and sights of the flora and fauna of the Delaware landscape, the children's library is also a learning laboratory of the natural environment in which it is dramatically positioned. The design of the aluminum and ceramic fritted glass enclosure shields the intense sunlight and abstractly recalls the hanging foliage and structure of the willow trees in the adjacent park.
The project expands the existing library by adding to the most heavily utilized functions: the children's collection, community meeting rooms, and public access services and reference. This expansion allows for a significant increase in the overall collection and seating to meet the demands of a growing community.