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  Germantown Community LibraryGermantown Community Library
8710 Earhart Lane SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Germantown, Wisconsin
Total Square Feet: 27,500
Construction Period: Mar 2001 to Jan 2003

Construction Team
ASSOCIATE ARCHITECT: Plunkett Raysich Architects, 10850 West Park Place, #300, Milwaukee, WI 53224
STRUCTURAL/ELECTRICAL/MECHANICAL ENGINEER: Harwood Engineering Consultants, 7420 West State Street, Milwaukee, WI 53213
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Bayland Buildings, Inc., P.O.Box 13571, Green Bay, WI 54307
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: STS Consultants, Ltd., 11425 W. Lake Park Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53224

The new Germantown Community Library is a part of the village's government complex on Mequon Road. The compact site includes a village hall, a police station, the existing 8,500-squarefoot library building and the new public library. The police station is being enlarged by expanding into the existing library building which will make for a very intensive site development.

The program developed for the new library required 40,000 square feet by the year 2010 and the first phase provides 27,500 square feet of that total. Because of the intensive development of the site including buildings, parking, water detention and landscaping the library's future growth will occur in a vertical manner in a mezzanine within the volume of the building rather than at grade.

Germantown is a community with very specific design guidelines and zoning ordinances. Roof forms and pitches, eave and ridge heights, exterior wall materials, exterior lighting, and site utilization all have to be approved by a local planning commission before construction of any project can proceed.

The exterior design responds to these local design guidelines through the use of a 6 in 12 roof slope with clipped gables, the use of clerestories to bring light in to a future second floor and exterior details that echo historical precedent. The exterior walls are composed of colored concrete block used as a base to set off the remainder of the brick, EIFS, and glass facades with decorative details included in the brickwork and the plaster.

The entrance to the building occurs in a small tower with a separate roof form reflecting the tower entrance to the village hall, which sits across a landscaped parking area to the west. The main lobby serves both the library and two community meeting rooms seating 150 people so that the meeting rooms can serve after library hours. The north facade has large glass areas in order to provide natural light for the reading areas set around the perimeter.

The Children's area is defined by the creation of a medieval village containing a program room, workroom, and rest room that buffers the space from the main adult collection areas. The future second floor mezzanine will look down on the various roof shapes of this area yet remain clear of them.

The main circulation path is created by positioning the stacks to create a gentle curve towards the north wall where the main seating areas are located. The path leads from the noisier areas of videos, new materials and fiction towards the quieter spaces around the nonfiction and reference collections. The reference desk angles towards the north wall across from the reference collection, computers and quiet reading areas.

In order to facilitate construction of the future second floor, the main steel second floor girders have been included in the present project. All of the infrastructure capacities have been included in the electrical and mechanical systems to easily accept the addition of 14,000 square feet. The interior space rises to a height of 31 feet so that there is ample volume to contain the future floor without making the spaces appear constricted. A series of exterior windows will be temporarily removed for the incorporation of new construction materials with limited down time in the future operation of the present building.

The building has opened to a warm reception from a growing active community, a short drive from the downtown area of Milwaukee.

DIV 07:
Shingles: Certainteed Independence Shangle®; EIFS: Degussa Wall Systems.
DIV 08: Windows, Entrances & Storefronts: Kawneer.
DIV 09: Acoustical Treatment: Tectum.

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