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  Appaloosa Branch LibraryAppaloosa Branch Library


DWL Architects + Planners, Inc.
2333 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Douglas Sydnor Architect and Associates, Inc.
15974 North 77th Street, #101, Scottsdale, AZ 85260

General Description

Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Date Bid: June 2008 Construction Period: July 2008 to Sep 2009 Total Square Feet: 21,242 Site: 4.47 acres.
Number of Buildings: One.
LEED® Gold
Building Size: First floor, 21,242; total, 21,242.
Building Height: First floor, 36’; total, 36’.
Basic Construction Type: New/A-3 Non Rated.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, slab-on-grade. Exterior Walls: Curtainwall, metal siding. Roof: Membrane. Floors: Concrete, raised floor.  Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall, glass partitions.
Projected and/or modeled energy usage KBTU/SF/yr: 0.064.

Construction Team

Structural Engineer: Paragon Structural Design, Inc. - 101 N. First Avenue, #2600, Phoenix, AZ 85003
Construction Manager at Risk: Haydon Building Corp - 4640 E. Cotton Gin Loop, Phoenix, AZ 85040
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: LSW Engineers Arizona, Inc. - 2333 W. Northern Avenue, #9, Phoenix, AZ 85021
Interior Design: Knipp Design Associates, Inc. - 6408 E. Lewis Avenue, Scottsdale, AZ 85257

Imagine a library that continually changes color as you approach and appears to float above its desert surroundings. After searching for an appropriate image in which to cast the Appaloosa Branch Library, the City of Scottsdale's latest addition to its collection of five public libraries, the architects decided on a mirage theme. Future nearby buildings are expected to be typical commercial "classical" or Mediterranean styles, so there was no reason to be directly contextual. Instead, DWL Architects + Planners and project co-designer Doug Sydnor Architects and Associates have created a special place with emphasis on the desert environment. The building rests lightly on the land: activity rooms cantilever over an arroyo; the Reading Room roof seems to hover above the 275-foot-long mass wall.

The mass wall, which divides the Reading Room from other activities, ranges from 16 to 30 feet high. It is composed of three horizontal bands of exposed aggregate concrete, giving it a geological appearance. This is the solid anchor around which lighter parts of the building rest. The tall north wall has continuous glass running along the top and bottom, with a perforated wall floating between. The short and long windows in this section are arranged to spell out the library's name in Morse code, thus preserving the custom of incorporating historic features into contemporary libraries. The resulting light levels allow the room to function throughout much of the day without artificial lighting.

The library's metal-clad skin is the first U.S. commercial application of PPG Industries® Duranar® VARI-Cool iridescent coating. Composed of mica chips in a clear base, it creates colors through light interference patterns-like the scales on a hummingbird-to produce colors ranging from silver to green to mauve, depending on the angle of view. The finish also reflects infra-red light, and a convective cavity separates the panels from the building, so heat can rise away from the wall before it reaches the insulation.

In Central Arizona, library activities can take place outdoors much of the year. A large shaded patio increases the activity space by providing tables and chairs for reading, discussions and a venue for entertainment. Several giant saguaro cacti edge their way into the space along with a grove of Palo Verde trees.

A wide array of environmental designs and products have earned this library LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification. Formerly used to accommodate overflow parking for the Western tourist destination of Rawhide, most of the site has been restored with native vegetation that includes transplanted cacti and trees salvaged from the old lot. Building materials were selected to reduce the heat island effect and to make use of locally produced products. Oversized ductwork slows down airflow to minimize noise and energy consumption. A photovoltaic array on the roof sheds part of the peak energy load, and CO monitors maintain fresh air inside meeting areas. All together, these factors result in a 32% energy and 53% water reduction; 93% of the construction waste has been recycled.

Product Information
Metal Panels: Morin A Kingspan Group Company
Metal Coating: PPG Duranar® VARI-Cool Iridescent Coating
Curtainwall & Storefront Glass: PPG
Roofing: Firestone
Entrances & Storefronts: Marshfield, Kawneer
Windows: Kawneer
Access Flooring: TATE
Lighting: Lithonia, Bega, Litelab, Kurlin
Operable Partitions: Hufcor
Photovoltaic Panels: BP Solar

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