The los angeles public library
Westchester-Loyola Village Branch Library

12,500 square feet, New Construction
Los Angeles, CA

This new community library, located at the present site of the Loyola Village Branch Library and adjacent to the Municipal Hall, combines two branch libraries and serves twelve elementary schools, four junior high and high schools, as well as a large local population.

The site strategy creates a large Urban Park to link the new community library with the existing Municipal Hall while preserving several existing mature laurel trees. The siting of the library also allowed for the planting of a large grove of eucalyptus to the east.  From the Urban Park, a cantilevered aluminum-clad canopy entrance opens to an intimately scaled foyer and the main hall—a soaring 120-foot long and 24 foot high space. The main hall forms the central and symbolic core of the library and accommodates the circulation desk and children’s reading areas. This space is clad with maple panels to create a warm and receptive inner sanctum.

To take advantage of its site (bounded by noisy, high-traffic streets at the fringe of a large urban park) the library was nestled in a new xeriscape garden that gives the County Park a strong presence along Westchester Boulevard, while creating a sanctuary from the surrounding noise and bustle.  The library’s principle street facade creates a strong urban edge that acts as an invitation to the repose and reflection within.  Inside the library a variety of study environments are strategically combined with exterior views to reinforce the user’s connection to the surrounding urban context in meaningful ways.  The main hall looks out to Westchester Boulevard and its steady stream of airport-bound traffic while the individual study carrels are nestled among views of the rolling Westchester Park.  Ultimately, the library synergistically combines site forces and typology to create a building at the service of both the local user and the larger community.

Project with Aleks Istanbullu Architects, Photography copyright Tom Bonner