LIBRARY: Tulare Public Library and Council Chambers | Tulare, CA | Built
The Tulare Public Library and Council Chambers was envisioned from the outset as an opportunity to create a new sense of pride in a farming community that is emerging as a growth center in California’s Central Valley. By combining Council Chambers and Library in one facility that features a number of amenities, the new facility will become the cultural and civic heart of the community. The form, massing, and materials were derived from Tulare’s prominence in agriculture. The design expresses agricultural imagery, while celebrating the civic role of the library within the community. Exposed concrete masonry was used because of its ability to provide a number of features in one product: attractiveness, durability, security, stability, and acoustic isolation, all which delineate the library and council chambers and express regional material and recycled content. Large “bay” windows punctuate the wall masses and impart a sense of transparency. Gabled roofs, corrugated metal cladding, and exposed steel shade structures reference the forms found in agricultural buildings in the surrounding area. The roof is supported by inverted bow-string trusses on the interior and cladding on the exterior with standing seam metal roofing that simulates the raw metal roofing found on dairy barns and silos. Port Orford Cedar was applied to the leading edges of the bottom chords of the trusses which move inward from the exterior fascia to the interior soffit in a gesture to draw one’s curiosity to the inside. This project has earned LEED Silver Certification.