Located on an urban block in Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, East Liberty neighborhood library serves one of the most economically and racially diverse populations in Pittsburgh. EDGE studio worked with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) to fully renovate the existing 33,000 sf, 1967 facility and provide a 9,000 sf addition which facilitates a complete reorganization of library services. With adult, teen and children’s department collections and services, 4 meeting rooms, back of house offices and workrooms, and a high density storage space for 150,000 historic volumes known as the ‘Heritage Collection,’ along with growth space for central library operations, the facility was dramatically reshaped to improve the library’s ability to provide services. The existing building was completely transformed by removing its un-insulated, single glazed envelope and expanding the structure to enlarge the facility and to give shape to a building which would have a greater visual presence when approached from all nearby streets. Taking formal cues from the adjacent, grandly scaled neo-gothic church, the new library building is wrapped in a folded rain screen skin articulated to reveal depth in shadow and light. At the upper floors, the building extends beyond the property lines to stretch into the view corridors of major streets, making it more visible to first time visitors and screening.
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