The design firm of Adjaye Associates won an open competition to design two new neighborhood libraries for the District of Columbia. The brief called for the buildings to be flexible, accessible, welcoming and inviting. Resonating with the Idea Stores in London's Tower Hamlets, the libraries challenge the traditional closed typology, introducing a social element that establishes a strong urban and cultural remit.
The 13 million, 22,500 SF facility suggest a woodland folly- a building that is a pavilion within Fort Davis Park. Views of the park are framed from within, while the exterior of the building both reflects and complements the dense composition of trees and the striking natural environment. Viewed from the street, the building appears to flicker in the changing light, providing a lens through which to see into the park. The two-story library provides space for three major library services: adults, teenagers and children. There are also public meeting rooms and conference rooms.