Ingleside Library | San Francisco, CA

The winner of a national design competition, this branch library serves as a neighborhood hub and source of civic identity. +

The design uplifts the community library's traditional role as a repository of knowledge while modernizing its role as a digital-age center of independent learning. A gathering place for the neighborhood's diverse population, the library's animated form mirrors the vibrant community life within.

Facing a heavily commercial street, the L-shaped building is composed of two independently floating forms that frame the main entry: the rectilinear volume of the library's program room and its oval-shaped children's reading room. The reading room's bay window—a glowing beacon of glass—projects the value and accessibility of literacy for all.

Within are four distinct spaces. In addition to the children's reading room, the main reading room is a grand-scale public hall that speaks to the classical model of libraries. Its sculpted ceiling pours in light from above through dramatic skylights. Quiet, intimate carrels for reading, relaxing, and computer use face a rear courtyard and garden, allowing indoor-outdoor flow as well as flexibility for the library's potential expansion. Finally, the services gallery (consisting of the workroom, manager's office, and staff lounge) forms a separate wing facing a residential street. This placement buffers the more active public spaces and provides professional, private workspaces for the staff.

Throughout, durable eco-friendly materials lower maintenance costs while providing visual and tactile delights. Metal louvers and sunshades, mahogany-framed study nooks, tile, and glass all give the library a beauty appropriate to its high civic purpose.

  • Awards:
  • 2011 Italy Design Competition- Honorable Mention
  • 2011 The Kirby Ward Fitzpatrick Prize for the best new building in SF by Architectural Foundation San Francisco
  • 2010 Educational Interiors Showcase Special Citation by American School & University Magazine
  • 2003 First Prize and Commission for a New Branch Library
  • Press:
  • 2011/02 Architectural Record
  • 2009/09 SF Chronicle