Over 3,000 visitors made their way to the new library in Pleasant Hill, California on July 30 for a first look at its light-filled, free-span interior and diverse community spaces.
Pleasant Hill Library represents a significant milestone for the city as one of its first community buildings constructed in many years. The Library broke ground in September 2020 and will provide spaces for all ages in a light-filled, adaptive, and energy-efficient environment.
The day began with remarks and a ribbon cutting by members of the City Council and other local representatives, as well as Friends of the Library President Susan Weaver and County Librarian Alison McKee. Tours of the library were offered for small groups, and the festivities outside featured music, crafts, face painting, circus performers, food trucks, and more. Community engagement and dialogue were essential in creating the new public library, and it was wonderful to bring members of the community together to celebrate the project.
The 30,000-square-foot library features a large, open central hall for book stacks and reading areas. The programming process highlighted flexibility as a key driver in the design, and we designed the main hall as a column-free open space to suit the community’s ever-evolving needs. Additional spaces include a welcome area, Friends of the Library bookstore, lounge, story lab, early literacy area, teen area, quiet reading room, and Messy Maker’s Space. The design takes advantage of Pleasant Hill’s temperate climate with a sheltered outdoor activity yard and reading terrace, as well as an open public plaza connecting the parking lot. The project is targeting net zero carbon.
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson collaborated with Swinerton Management and Consulting, BHM Construction, Einwiller Kuehl Landscape Architecture, Margaret Sullivan Studios, and Etsuki Creative on the library. View photos of the opening below.