A New Central Library for Austin

New Central Library Construction

In the fall 2013, the Library set up several camera views to document the construction of the New Central Library. Time lapse videos and still images detail the construction progress.

New Central Library Groundbreaking

On May 30, 2013 the Austin Public Library launched construction of the New Central Library at 710 W. Cesar Chavez St., facing Austin's iconic Ladybird Lake and nestled alongside Shoal Creek. The New Central Library is set to open in 2016. View photos of the groundbreaking ceremony

New Central Library Groundbreaking

Vision for the New Central Library

The New Central Library will be the first "library for the future" in the United States and the second in the world. Austin Public Library leaders worked with library consultant and futurist Joan Frye Williams to develop their own "library for the future" building program which incorporates flexible and blended spaces and focuses on the electronic delivery of information. People from all walks of life – working professionals, retirees, students, artists, teens, families with children and more – will find a niche at the New Central Library.

The facility will incorporate adaptable spaces to accommodate the rapidly accelerating development of technology. Cozy areas for silent reading and study, rooms that can be used for classes and workshops as well as large open expanses for community gatherings and events have been incorporated into the building's design. Customers can read the latest bestseller or get some work done on their laptops while enjoying the fresh air and breathtaking view from the Reading Porches overlooking Shoal Creek and Lady Bird Lake.

New Central Library Design Rendering

Austin is known worldwide for its thriving art, music and film scene. The New Central Library will celebrate these elements of the local culture. It will have a gallery that features local and national artists. There will also be special display areas to honor Austin music and musicians and to highlight the Austin film collection and celebrate Austin’s cinematic achievements. A selection of beloved puppets created by the Austin Public Library will also be on permanent display.
The New Central Library seeks to nurture a sense of community. The main Atrium Space adjacent to Shoal Creek will be a landmark public gathering space for the entire district, bringing together the many facets of Austin's rich creative tapestry. Recycled Reads, the Austin Public Library's zero-waste bookstore, will have a retail space on site. There will be a Café integrated with the Library that will provide indoor and outdoor dining. A multi-purpose event forum will host large-scale Library and public events adjacent to Shoal Creek and Cesar Chavez Blvd.
Forward-thinking strategies such as demand controlled ventilation, variable air and water flow, day lighting control, extensive use of LEDs and on-site energy production are just some of the ways that the New Central Library will provide for a sustainable future. Overall, the facility is designed to operate at 30% more efficiently than code requires resulting in energy savings equivalent to the energy needs of 130 households per year. It features a 200kW Photovoltaic array – the largest local PV installation for a non-Austin Energy facility. 

The New Central Library will be easily accessible to pedestrians, cyclists, public transportation users and cars too – especially electric and hybrid models, for which charging stations are provided. There will be 200 parking spaces on-site with additional parking available at several nearby garages. The adjacent 7.2 mile Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail will connect to the Library's entrance and there will be abundant bicycle parking in the Bicycle Corral adjacent to the hike and bike trail.

For current updates about the New Central Library schedule, please reference the Director's Report. For additional information about the New Central Library please call Project Manager Cindy Jordan at 512-974-7183 or Facilities Process Manager John Gillum at 512-974-7495.

Great Cities have Great Libraries

More than 500,000 customers utilize the resources at the Faulk Central Library each year. However, the current facility cannot be expanded to accommodate Austin's population growth. In November of 2006 voters approved a bond to construct a new Central Library to replace the 110,000 square foot John Henry Faulk Central Library that opened in 1979. On December 11, 2008 the Austin City Council selected the Joint Venture of Lake | Flato Architects and Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott to design our city's New Central Library. On December 9, 2010, the Austin City Council approved of an Architectural Building Program and a funding plan of $120 million for the New Central Library. In September of 2011 the design team presented their Schematic Design to the Austin City Council and the Austin Public Library Commission. View the presentation

Lake | Flato Architects, Inc. 

Established in 1984, Lake | Flato Architects has gained national recognition for architecture that is rooted to its place and successfully merges with the landscape. In collaboration with their clients, Lake | Flato creates buildings that are tactile and modern, environmentally responsible and authentic, artful and crafted. Lake|Flato has received wide critical acclaim. The American Institute of Architects selected Lake | Flato as the Firm of the Year in 2004. In 2006, Lake | Flato was the only firm to have two projects selected as Top Ten Green Projects by the AIA Committee on the Environment. A third was a 2007 Top Ten Green Project. In all, Lake | Flato's work has been recognized with 37 national awards (including the AIA's Honor Award in 1992, 1997, 1999 and 2007) and 51 state awards. For more information about Lake | Flato Architects please visit www.lakeflato.com.

Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott Incorporated 

Shepley Bulfinch offer clients innovative design solutions in architecture, planning, and interior design. A nationally recognized leader of library programming and design, Shepley Bulfinch works with libraries as they face changes to their physical space and operations, positioning them for their expanding and evolving roles in the 21st century. The firm was established in 1874 by Henry Hobson Richardson. "Richardsonian Romanesque", though now in the pantheon of architectural styles, was a dramatic break from the works of his contemporaries. The firm carries forward his vision of innovation and his legacy of design excellence. In doing so, they draw on their nationally recognized expertise in the design and construction of sustainable, energy-efficient buildings. Their public library portfolio includes central libraries for the cities of Cincinnati, Memphis, and Eugene, Oregon; and the phased renovation of Boston Public Library/ For more information about Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott please visit www.shepleybulfinch.com.

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