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  Madison Branch Library, Page 56Madison Branch Library
Gobbell Hays Partners, Inc. 
217 Fifth Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37219

Madison, Tennessee
Total Square Feet: 21,426
Construction Period: July 1999 to July 2000

Construction Team
General Contractor: Robert S. Biscan & Company - 5210 Maryland Way, #100, Brentwood, TN 37027
Structural Engineer: TRC International, Ltd. - 217 Ward Circle, Brentwood, TN 37027
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: Nash Lipsey Burch, LLC - 2900 Vanderbilt Place, #101, Nashville, TN 37212
Civil Engineer: Littlejohn Engineering - 1935 21st Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212
Cost Estimator: Connico Incorporated - 1101 Kermit Drive, #514, Nashville, TN 37217

Madison Branch Library was designed to be the new cultural cornerstone of the Madison community, on the site of the old Stratton School, now demolished. The site provided several acres of park-like green space, including full, mature trees, that Gobbell Hays Partners (GHP) was able to retain.

The linear quality of the site dictated a long, linear design. The one-story design is based on a radius (curve), with the library transecting the radius from east to west. The dry-stack stone wall of natural fieldstone follows the curve, beginning outside the library as an exterior design element, then continuing through the building as an interior feature, forming division walls to define various spaces. The arc, carried through with the stone wall and with a bulkhead at the ceiling plane, gives a visual connection from one end of the building to the other.

The radius as a visual reference point is also carried out in various other design elements of the building. The stained concrete floor follows the motif of circles and curves. This concrete flooring, used in high-traffic areas of the building, is a relative newcomer on the architectural scene. The pleasing, mottled effect in earth tones gives a change from the more traditional carpeted areas.

An important objective was to design different aspects to appeal to specific user groups. The children#s area is a highlight of the building. Using a concept based on the C.S. Lewis book, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, the design features a cedar-lined #wardrobe# wall through which children walk when entering the Story Room for story time. The young adult area has a more contemporary atmosphere, reflected by the furnishings and finishes. Decorative suspended light fixtures over service areas were used to highlight the various service desks.

A design challenge was to design a building that complements the neighborhood, to blend the new structure with the stone churches, cemeteries, and other architectural features of the Madison area. This was accomplished in part through the choice of the materials. The structure uses a unique combination of both natural and engineered materials. Natural materials enhance the feeling of warmth 
and familiarity indigenous to this area, and natural tones create a welcoming atmosphere for reading. The use of stone signifies stability of the community and of the library. Other materials selected for the project were exposed metal deck and ductwork, steel trusses, red brick, stained concrete, metal roof, and split-face block.

Colors for the building, from carpet to stone to upholstery, were all coordinated to provide a natural look inside the building. This natural look is highlighted with lapis blue and amber pendant lights. From the subtle leaf pattern on the upholstered chairs to the pictograph cutouts in the children#s furnishings, care was taken to create an inviting space for the public, with pleasant surprises in store throughout 
the building.

The civic building is a strong image that features modern sculptural forms, soaring lines and curves inside and outside, contemporary systems, state-of-the-art technology, an open and airy plan which is convenient and inviting to the user -- all in the context of the distinctive Madison neighborhood. The innovative design met a strict budget, unusual site constraints, and very specific programmatic 
requirements. The project was completed on schedule in July 2000.

Roof -- Standing Seam: Rollcom; EPDM: Calsile Syntec.
Floors -- Carpet: Shaw.
Interior Walls -- Folding Partitions: IN/EX Systems, Inc.

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