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Arch Aluminum & Glass Co., Inc.

  Matheson Memorial Library, Page 24Matheson Memorial Library

11000 West Park Place Milwaukee, WI 53224 

8710 Earhart Lane S.W. Cedar Rapids, IA 52404 

Elkhorn, Wisconsin
Total Square Feet: 25,612
Construction Period: Jan 2003 to June 2004 

STRUCTURAL, ELECTRICAL, MECHANICAL ENGINEER: Harwood Engineering Consultants - 7420 West State Street, Milwaukee, WI 53213 
GENERAL CONTRACTOR & COST ESTIMATOR: J.P. Cullen & Sons, Inc. - 13040 West Lisbon, #900, Brookfield, WI 53005

The City of Elkhorn constructed its first library building in 1931 and expanded the building in 1989. Elkhorn, with less than 8,000 residents, recently completed its second edition bringing the library’s square footage to over 25,000 square feet. The challenge presented to the joint team of Howard R. Green Company and Plunkett Raysich Architects was to triple the size of the facility without destroying the historical character of the original library.

The existing building, and its addition, was 4 feet higher than the existing parking area. Handicapped access had originally been achieved by an exterior ramp. The architects desired to achieve a new, grade level entrance with this new expansion to make the building easy to use.

Numerous footprint studies were conducted to test the adequacy of the site. The studies helped justify the importance of acquiring an additional site to the north, which allowed for a solution that re-establishes a visible entrance from the courthouse square (which was lost during the 1989 addition). This final solution wraps the present building on the north and east sides, maintaining the presence of the 1931 building, and creating secure access to the library from both the eastern parking area and a new western entrance which re-establishes a connection to the County Courthouse.

This solution allowed for the children’s area to be placed on the southern vista of the building. The ensuing story hour room then became the transition piece between the 1931 building and the new addition. The remainder of the new space created was able to house the adult popular collection, a periodicals reading room with a fireplace, and an enlarged staff work space. The library is separated from the community dining and meeting rooms by a new central lobby space that is directly accessible from both the east and west sides of the building.

The original building became the location of new reference and computer areas, and also provides space for a special new Young Adults area. The main access to this area is now accomplished through reuse of the existing exterior ramp, which is now an integral part of the interior circulation pattern and is located adjacent to the new circulation desk.

The exterior elevations include matching brick in a Flemish bond pattern and limestone trim to relate to the detail in the existing building. New large windows are located to maximize the amount of natural light available in the stacks.

The connecting parts of the building, like the Story Room and the new lobby are softer forms created in limestone, glass and EIFS to help mediate between new and existing construction, and to help identify these as special spaces within the building.

The interiors of the building are executed in warm, neutral tones, with a classical bend to the details to create a total space comfortable to the community. The lighting system uses indirect fixtures in varying patterns to maintain glare-free illumination for all the varying usages, which is important in a public building of this type. The entire building has been updated to become a 21st century information center.

DIV 07:
Metal Roofing: Firestone®/UNA-CLAD®; Membrane Roof: Carlisle SynTec, Johns Manville.
DIV 08: Curtainwall, Windows, Entrances & Storefront: Kawneer.
DIV 09: Carpet: Shaw; Vinyl: Mannington.
DIV 16: Lighting: Lithonia, Visa.

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