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Sharpsburg Library

Front Studio Architects

Posted: September 11, 2018 | Projects

In contrast with the one-story concrete-block building that the library once was, the colorful sliced-and-stacked design of the Sharpsburg Community Library is now a bold community asset: it has sparked a change in perception of the district and is a harbinger of new development.

The Borough of Sharpsburg began this project with the idea that their public library would become a centerpiece for Main Street and would bring new vibrancy to their central commercial district. The bold design and bright colors of the renovated building helped to achieve that vision.

The project included both an addition and extensive renovation and it was completed with substantial community involvement. The size of the existing structure was tripled to include a programming room, computer bar, and children’s area.

The new library is not only well suited to the intellectual stimulation of reading but is captivating to users and to the entire community. Pittsburgh Quarterly described the design as “an effective metaphor for the experience of the library as a place where a community assembles.”

Indeed, this dynamic building accommodates a variety of activities with a high degree of thoughtfulness, organization, and attention to detail, all while working within a tight budget of $206 per square foot.

The cheerful library is both an inviting and a memorable experience because it engages people’s bodies, minds, and imaginations. Now, it is not just a place to go, but a place to be.


Building Envelope: Petersen Aluminum PAC-CLAD®, James Hardie Building Products, Dupont
Windows, Entrances & Storefronts: Kawneer
Flooring: Mohawk, Mannington Commercial
Lighting: Corelite, Portfolio, All Pro, Stile


Front Studio Architects
357 N. Craig Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Structural Engineer 
Barber & Hoffman Engineers
215 Executive Drive, #202
Cranberry Township, PA 16066

Mechanical & Electrical Engineer
A & F Engineering
104 Atlantic Avenue
Elizabeth, PA 15037

GeoTechnical Engineer
GeoMechanics, Inc.
600 Munir Drive
Elizabeth, PA 15307

Cost Estimator
Kaden Construction LP
1801 Main Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15215

General Contractor
Franjo Construction
335 E. 7th Avenue
Homestead, PA 15120

Location: Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania
Date Bid: Apr 2014
Construction Period: Sep 2014 to Jun 2015          
Total Square Feet: 4,000
Site: .20 acres.
Number of Buildings: One.
Building Sizes: First floor, 4,000; total, 4,000 square feet.  
Building Height: First floor, 20′; total, 20′.  
Basic Construction Type: Addition/Renovation/VB.
Foundation: Slab-on-grade. 
Exterior Walls: Corrugated metal, fiber cement board, storefront.
Roof: Membrane. 
Floors: Concrete. 
Interior Walls: Wood stud drywall.

View full project details in magazine issue September-October 2018.