Sunlight is a treasured resource in the Pacific Northwest, so when Perkins+Will set out to design the new Sammamish Library, they knew daylighting would be one of its main design features. Expansive views, stormwater runoff management, and sustainable and energy-efficient design were also high priorities for the city library, which sits at the end of the newly developed Civic Plaza in the Seattle suburb. Completed in 2010, this green-roofed library is turning heads - and it was even honored as #6 on a list of New Landmark Libraries according to Library Journal.
Located on one side of Sammamish’s Civic Plaza, the library serves as a “bookend” for the town’s public areas. It is located close to the city hall, bike and pedestrian paths, and an outdoor venue for concerts, events and the farmer’s market. The site was plagued with serious rainwater runoff issues, so the project required smart planning. Perkins+Will instituted a three-part system to manage the stormwater runoff, which included planting an elaborate rain garden around the building, planting a sedum green roof, and installing permeable concrete paving to infiltrate water. Parking was also placed underground to reduce the library’s overall footprint and contain parking lot runoff.
Large floor-to-ceiling windows on the north and west sides take in as much light as possible, while the south and east sides are shaded to prevent overheating and wide roof overhangs reduce direct sun exposure in the summer months. Skylights in the roof also help pull more daylighting into the main stacks area. A tight envelope, a geothermal HVAC system, and radiant floor heating all help to lower heating costs. Reclaimed native elm, ash, and maple as well as bamboo are all used to finish the interior.
Images © Benjamin Benschneider/Perkins+Will