Salt Lake City Main Public Library
Salt Lake City’s Main Library is a 240,000-square-foot building, located in the heart of downtown. The project celebrates the idea of the urban room, with stacks and readers facilities intertwined with a range of public gathering spaces. The building consists of a five-story, triangular-shaped structure housing the stacks and readers’ facilities, an adjacent rectangular administration wing, and a glass-enclosed urban room, all contained by a crescent-shaped wall. The wall descends toward the piazza, housing a sweeping external staircase that connects the piazza to a rooftop garden overlooking the surrounding Wasatch Mountains. The urban room opens into the piazza, which is lined with-in the wall with shops, restaurants, meeting rooms, and an auditorium.
Within the crescent, reading galleries occupy the four levels above the retail areas and connect by bridges to the main library block. On the lowest level, the children’s library spills outdoors into an amphitheater and a children’s garden, around which cluster story rooms designed as part of the art program. A south-facing, five-story double-glazed “lens” opens the entire library toward the mountain view while providing shade or trapping the sun’s heat, as appropriate to each season.