washington public library

Washington, Missouri

The library previously occupied the upper level of a two-story building that was originally designed to house the Washington Police Department on the lower level with no connection between the two levels. With the relocation of the Police Department to a new building the lower level became available for a library expansion. Local firm, Horn Architects, and FEH DESIGN were selected to expand the existing library and create a cohesive library utilizing both levels and nearly doubling their space. The innovative design proposed by FEH DESIGN not only incorporated that additional space but completely reoriented the building and reorganized the interior spaces to provide architectural definition of the various library areas. Another design challenge was how to physically and visually connect the two floors of the existing building. FEH proposed cutting an opening through the existing upper floor at the center of the building providing a new grand staircase to connect the two levels while also allowing daylight from clerestory windows above the roof in this area to spill into the interior of the lower level. This reorganization included moving the main entry of the library to the opposite side of the building with a new entry lobby, staircase and elevator.