Downtown Library (2003) Moshe Safdie | VCBO

This project comprises a series of prominent geometric forms. These include a five-story, triangular-shaped main building for the book stacks and general facilities, an adjacent rectangular administration wing, and a glass-enclosed “urban room.” A crescent-shaped wall encloses these dramatic shapes, and may be ascended from the central piazza to a stunning rooftop garden. Flowing into the piazza, the urban room fills with daylight and offers views of the surrounding Wasatch mountain range. The space rises to the full height of the building and thus provides a pivotal point of visual orientation.

Reading areas occupy the unique crescent wall space, which embraces the other elements and gestures out to the city beyond. The children’s library, on the lowest level, spills outdoors into an amphitheater and garden in the piazza. At night a crescent-shaped pool, extending into the outdoor space, reflects the glowing glass façade. This new public library echoes the striking landscape in its confident use of form, maximizing light and views at every turn.

Gross square footage: 237,000 sq. ft.

Total construction cost: $92 million

210 East 400 south Salt Lake City, 84111

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