New Central Library
710 W. César Chávez St.
- Summer 2016: Building Construction completed
- November 2016: Grand Opening Ceremony
What is a "library for the future"?
- Flexible & Blended Spaces
- Focus on electronic delivery of information
- State-of-the-art technologies
- Community gathering place promoting a mixture of lively and contemplative spaces
- Collections displayed to encourage discovery
What will the New Central Library offer?
- Reading porches and an indoor reading room overlooking Shoal Creek and Lady Bird Lake
- Landmark public gathering atrium space adjacent to Shoal Creek
- Library café with outdoor dining adjacent to Second St. and Shoal Creek Park
- Recycled Reads bookstore and upcycling facility
- Gallery space featuring local and national artists
- Abundant bicycle parking
- A permanent exhibit of beloved puppets created by the Austin Public Library
April 2016 Update
In construction terms, Substantial Completion means a project is ready for the owner’s acceptance and occupancy, and with Substantial Completion scheduled to be reached on June 16 for the New Central Library, the building and site are teeming this month with construction activities from basement to rooftop, as one might well imagine. In the two levels of underground parking garage, installation of permanent lighting fixtures is progressing rapidly while the three "jump" elevators that will bring customers to the first floor of the building are even now being powered up. Throughout the upper levels of the building at this moment in time, terrazzo, stone and wooden flooring is being installed, walls and other elements are being painted, the battery of elevators are being programmed for operation, and acoustic ceilings finished out. On the exteriors, the last of the stone veneer is being installed along with metal panels and steel scrim, including the steel scrim inscribed with library quotes at the Great Reading Room on the fourth floor. Planting beds are now being tended on the rooftop garden, and on April 28, a crane will lift a live oak tree and landscaping boulders for installation as roof garden features. On April 7, the Austin City Council authorized the negotiation and execution of three separate contracts with Indoff, Inc. to provide furniture and fixtures for the New Central Library in an amount not to exceed $804,347. In the months to come, the Library Department anticipates requesting Council approval to purchase more New Central Library furniture and shelving as well as technology, including but not limited to laptop/tablet self-checkout kiosks for customer use. Finally, formal lease negotiations are now underway with an impressive restaurant management group interested in being tenants for the New Central Library Café and Catering opportunity.
On January 6, 2014 the Art in Public Places Panel approved the Final Design for the New Central Library Art Project titled Birds by Christian Moeller, a world-class, innovative public artist whose works often incorporate robotic elements. Birds is a 37’ kinetic sculpture resembling a gigantic cuckoo clock with a swinging pendulum which will be wall-mounted in the atrium.
An accompanying LED animation screen featuring a black bird will be mounted on the 5th level. A computer program will drive the behavior and gestures of the bird using an artificial life system. This work is inspired in part by Austin’s relation to its resident grackle population and by the strong presence black birds have in mythology and literature.
New Central Library Contacts
Project Manager, Public Works
Facilities Process Manager, Austin Public Library