With its recent inclusion on WebUrbanist's
list of 14 Marvelous Modern Libraries
, the Ann Arbor District Library's Traverwood branch
is on the same page with fantastical book spots like the underground TU Delft Library in the Netherlands; Colombia's stone and pine lattice Villaneuva Public Library; and the National Library of Belarus, wrapped in an LED-lit globe reminiscent of a holiday ornament.
The 16,500-square-foot library opened in 2008 on a four-acre site in northeast Ann Arbor that had a thick canopy of ash trees felled by Emerald Ash Borer disease. Entire trunks of those original trees were worked into the interior, says Josie Parker, director of the Ann Arbor District Library. "And the ash borer's patterns are apparent on the trunks of those trees. So it's clear what killed the tree, and why so much ash was available. It's a social statement, an environmental statement, as well as an architectural statement, all being made in one design."
Its other notable features include an L-shaped design to accommodate the irregular lot shape, a light-bathed interior, a storm water management system with a rain garden, and a cafe. Parker puts the total project cost at $10 million, including the lot, construction, and furnishings.
The Traverwood branch made such a lofty list because, "First of all, it's not a big major city library," says Parker. "It's a highly sustainable and a very progressive site in an urban city without being in a major metropolitan area, and I think that [WebUrbanist
] understood it for that and that's why they chose it."
Source: Josie Parker, director of the Ann Arbor District Library
Writer: Tanya Muzumdar
Image courtesy of Ann Arbor District Library