We first covered the Malibu Library back in April—Earth Day 2012 to be exact—for its star-studded grand opening in the beachside community of Malibu, Calif.
Recently, the library scored a feature in the Library Journal’s Year in Architecture list, a comprehensive compilation of public library building projects and academic libraries.
The LPA designed Malibu Library is a renovation success story, which finds itself on the Journal’s radar for of its multi-faceted, innovative design.
“This year’s library architectural landscape encompasses combination spaces, meticulous renovations and restorations, and innovative thinking in the reuse of existing structures,” writes Library Journal Editor Bette-Lee Fox.
According to Fox, the 107 public library capital projects and 19 academic buildings completed between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012 present fascinating and functioning responses to library service needs that are shaking up the design waterfront.
“The Malibu Library is a dynamic metamorphosis of what was once a dark, dated, and inefficient space into a light, bright, and sustainable environment that reflects the history and unique nature of this beachfront community,” said LPA Senior Designer Rick D’Amato.
With more than 19 libraries under his belt D’Amato’s design expertise in civic architecture is well-documented. He also excels in creating designs for corporate environments (Ford Motor Company, Toyota, The Yard House Restaurants, Urban Decay Cosmetics, ASICS America, Blizzard Entertainment, Pacific Dental Services, Mossimo, The La Jolla Group and Volcom, to name a few); no surprise as many of today’s libraries incorporate elements inspired by retail savviness. For example, a dramatic wave inside the Malibu Library not only simulates the colors of the sea and falls in-step with the city’s brand, but also is made from recycled milk-bottle acrylic panels.
Overall, recycled materials exceed 20% of everything in the library and more than 20% of these materials were manufactured within a 500-mile radius. The library is on track to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
“A number of libraries have gone ‘open concept,’ featuring an atrium around which service areas revolve,” notes Fox. The Malibu Library demonstrates this feature with retractable glass walls that open the inside space to the outside reading garden. The garden features a small presentation stage, a reading orchard, and can be used for functions and special events.
The outside of the library is clad in large-scale, sustainable pressed panels detailed in varying shades of blue to simulate the colors of the sea. Inspired by the Malibu Coast, the design incorporates an abstracted wind sail, water metaphors, and undulating shapes and forms.
Additional sustainable design elements include extensive reuse of interior, non-structural components and materials inspired by a “do less” attitude. Healthy indoor air quality measures were taken both during and after construction. Efficient, indirect and direct lighting fixtures use less power, and daylighting controls optimize energy performance. Low-flow and dual-flush plumbing fixtures reduce the building’s water consumption by 35%. The library’s landscape palette is comprised of drought-tolerant, California natives; a more efficient irrigation system is also in place.
For more information about the County of Los Angeles Public Library’s Malibu Library, please visit CoLAPubLib.org/libs/Malibu/. Rick D’Amato is a Senior Designer and Principal at California-based LPA Inc. For more than 20 years D’Amato has designed award winning spaces for corporate office facilities, retail projects, schools, city halls, libraries and community centers. He is an active member of the American Institute of Architects, the U.S. Green Building Council, the California Library Association, American Public Library Association and Public Library Association.