Text description provided by the architects. Originally a Carnegie town library and town square, the Yuma Heritage Library project restores its prominent standing as a social destination and focal point for all ages in downtown Yuma, Arizona. The scope of work included a major renovation that required Studio Ma to recognize both its standing within the historic Yuma community and to find an effective design approach to maximize the value of the existing building.
The work included a full interior renovation with improved daylighting strategies, complete seismic upgrade, and replacement of all mechanical and plumbing systems. Reopened as a branch library, the Heritage Library emphasizes public programs and provides resources for patrons of all ages. The renovation resolves a number of functional issues while promoting a greater sense of community. The project features both physical and representational references to the local amenities and points of pride such as the Colorado River, the Gila Trail, and the local tale “Roxaboxen”.
The interior renovation included improved daylighting through the introduction of new daylight monitors, structural renovations, seismic upgrade to provide a large, central open space, and complete replacement of all mechanical and plumbing systems. Studio Ma's design, within a Design-Build delivery system, optimized scope within a limited budget and an aggressive schedule (Three and a half months for full design and construction documents.)
The design reflects the community’s desire for a contemporary, state-of-the-art facility that respects the special historic nature of the building. Local points of pride are woven into the project through physical and representational references providing a lens through which to understand the changing nature of the community.