M.W. Steele Group was commissioned, through a competitive selection process, to design a new library for the City of La Quinta, to be located within their master planned civic center park. The building is sited to complement the location of both the City Hall and the adjacent Senior Center. Two axes form circulation galleries through the library; one linking the street entry and parking lot entry through a central control point; the other providing a strong visual connection to the park and City Hall.
In response to the city’s requirement for future expansion of the library, a 20,000 sf building shell was constructed with the library presently occupying only 10,000 sf. The remainder of the space is used for other civic functions and as future growth area for the library. M.W. Steele Group worked with the City and the Library staff to generate a functional and spatial program for the library both in the 10,000 sf first phase, and the eventual 20,000 sf library. This was accomplished in a series of meetings and workshops with both groups, as well as interactive workshops with the community to solicit their input and priorities.
The desert climate presented special challenges and opportunities. In order to protect the collections and provide a comfortable reading environment, intense heat and direct sunlight are carefully controlled by utilizing deep overhangs at windows and concrete walls to moderate temperature differences between exterior and interior. Secure shaded outdoor reading patios were developed to take advantage of the pleasant winter climate and provide views of the park and mountains beyond.