Watha T. Daniel-Shaw Library

Watha T. Daniel-Shaw Library, Washington, United States, Davis Brody Bond
Project year : 2010
Architect(s) :
Address : 1630 7th St NW, WASHINGTON, United States
Latitude/Longitude : 38.912401,-77.022535

Photographs : |

Co Lead Designers : Peter Cook, J. Max Bond
Project Team : Christiane DeJong, AIA, LEED AP, Nathan Hoyt, FAIA, Cody McNeal, LEED AP, Scott Phillips (no longer with firm), Kelly Powell (no longer with firm), Semaj Tucker (no longer with firm)
Area : 22800.0 ft²
Manufacturers : Icestone, Kartell, Knoll, Spacesaver, Vitra, Herman Miller

The new Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library is part of DC Public Library’s Building Program and came from a series of new libraries in Washington that are designed to be flexible and open in order to meet the needs of the community now and in the future. This $12 million facility is located on a triangular urban site near Howard University. It covers an area of 22,800 square foot and marks this important intersection as a civic and educational node for the community. Filling the 9,850 square foot site, the building is comprised of three stories – one below grade and two above. The entry plaza at the east end of the site welcomes the public to the library and displays a 22 foot sculpture by local artist Craig Kraft.

The main lobby provides access to the lower level which houses community spaces including a 100 person multi-purpose room, as well as access to the library proper. The ground floor houses the new materials and catalog stations for the general collections, the children’s library and the main service point and staff area. The bulk of the adult collection is housed on the upper level of the library, including reference and periodical sections, young adult and adult reading rooms. There will be online catalogs dispersed throughout the floor, with access to the DC Public Library electronic resources available at all locations. The library has 32 computers for public use, providing internet access to all in the community. The library also offers two 10-person conference rooms and individual study rooms to allow for collaborative work in a non-disruptive setting. On opening day the collection comprised 40,000 books, DVDs, CDs and other library materials. Inside the library there is enough space for the collection to expand to up to 80,000 items.

Designed to meet LEED Silver Certification, the Library was designed to include a vegetative green roof, displacement air system, solar control and daylight management and extensive use of recyclable and renewable materials. The building utilizes a corrugated, perforated aluminum screen wall system across its southern facade. The screen wall is three feet in front of an expansive glazed curtain wall, providing sufficient shading of the upper level reading room while allowing natural daylight to enter the space with a 40% open area. The shading system allows a reduced dependence on artificial lighting and its related energy costs as well as protects the Library’s collection from harmful solar exposure.