Architect: richard+bauer | Photography: Mark Boisclair

Harmon Library

Phoenix, Arizona

client: City of Phoenix

completion: May 2009

size: 12,500 SF

cost: $4.5M

collaboration: Richard+Bauer


relevant services:

  • Library Programming + Space Planning
  • Interior Design Services
  • Furniture Specifications
  • Custom Millwork design

AIA/ALA Library Building Award Jury Comments:

“Here is a powerful community space delivered through a simple, open, effective floor plan. The uplifting, light, upper volume transforms the space into something more- something almost spiritual”.

“Elements like the simple furniture are consistent with the project’s overall idea of resourcefulness— simple, humble details done right”

“Notable is the real economy here: a limited number of brushstrokes, each one done so very effectively”

A gathering place in which the community is enabled to take pride and ownership of their building, Harmon Library is a small library in the heart of an urban park in downtown Phoenix. Over time the diverse neighborhood has integrated the library as a key element within the community; a place to connect for adults, and an important resource for after school working families.  Celebrating the wide diversity and demographic of the community, the building is conceived as a Kaleidoscope; a primary linear space containing the common shared functions flanked by discrete age dependent areas.  Allowing each to be both independent but maintain a shared experience, the library provides multi-purpose spaces for the vastly different age groups that make-up the clientele.

Framed with a large expanse of saw-tooth glass, the upper ceiling volume is sheathed in perforated aluminum panels, dispersed with colored linear skylights and slot windows that refract the ever changing light throughout the day.  Establishing the core reading area, the 25’ high central volume and graphic panels suspend from structural trusses, composing a lyrical play of texture and color reflecting across floor, walls, and furniture.  An open floor plate seamlessly transfers patrons throughout the library and augments views to exterior garden courts and the adjacent community park beyond.

© White Baux Studio | 3440 North 16th Street | Phoenix, AZ 85016