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  Orange County Public Law Library Addition, Page 18Orange County Public Law Library Addition


Ralph Allen & Partners
520 North Main, #200, Santa Ana, CA 92701

Santa Ana, California
Total Square Feet: 19,370 
Construction Period: Mar 2004 to Oct 2006

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: John A. Martin & Associates - 1212 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: FTR International, Inc. - 400 Exchange, #150, Irvine, CA 92602
MECHANICAL ENGINEER: F. T. Andrews, Inc. - 831 South Harbor Boulevard, Anaheim, CA 92805
ELECTRICAL ENGINEER: Mullen & Associates, Inc. - 1200 North Jefferson, #D, Anaheim, CA 92807
COST ESTIMATOR & CONSTRUCTION MANAGER: Analytical Planning Services, Inc. - 8885 Research Drive, Irvine, CA 92618

The original Orange County Public Law Library was designed by the same Architect in 1969. It was the first public building to be recognized by the local AIA chapter with the First Honor Award. A successful project for the next thirty years, the need for additional space due primarily to an ever increasing collection, the same architect was selected for the expansion and limited remodeling of the existing structure. 

Since the original design, issues including access by the impaired, energy conservation, increased seismic requirements, have taken an increased importance. The new design, besides having to increase the collection size, needed to provide better access to the public it served while providing a better environment and still be an important architectural statement within the Civic Center Complex.

The design resolved into a philosophical expression of design evolution over time. To represent the addition as a contemporary interpretation of the original design using common materials yet using the same architect's evolutionary development from the brutalism of the late 60's to the more emotional forms of the architect's more current designs.

While the new addition harkens back to the works of Kahn, Schindler, or Corbusier, it still becomes clearly twenty-first century in the composition. The cast-in-place concrete reflects the past use of the same material within the original design but the finish is more contemporary. 

The separation between old and new was fully intentional. Making a clear separation between the concrete of old and new, insulating glass was used to make a literal visual separation between the original design and the new expansion. Walking around and through the facility the old building forms can still be clearly identified as a community icon. The new becomes separate but equal, reaching over and embracing the original.

The major portion of the expansion is not even seen by the general public. Using an existing portion of the adjacent Civic Center parking lot, the site was excavated for a collection stack area of over 9,800 square feet. The only hint of its existence is the emergency stairwell located in a far corner. This solution reduced the visual impact of the expansion and functionally did not reduce the public parking area for the entire Civic Center.

The elevated reading areas and offices in the expansion align with the original reading room which was originally accessed from a public promenade which links all the Civic Center buildings above the Center's parking. The new addition now links all levels through a new parking entry and linking elevators.

dIV. 9: Access Flooring: Maxcess Technologies. 
DIV. 14: Elevators: KONE.

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