Homewood Public Library

Homewood, Alabama
City of Homewood Completed 1998

The City of Homewood presented Davis Architects with the challenge of taking an existing church building, currently being used for a public library, and redesigning its interior spaces, while adding on new spaces, to create a civic structure that will be enjoyed by all members of the community.  The program consisted of renovation and addition work, and included separate adult, young adult and children’s library, main entrance lobby, stack and reading areas, staff work rooms, circulation lobby and desk, public meeting rooms with after hours access, computer labs, auditoriums, coffee shop, gallery video display, and administrative offices.  The library requested that the design be civic, but colorful and playful (since a large portion of the library’s clientele is families with small children).  Davis Architects responded by reconfiguring the interior spaces of the church to accommodate the adult library, staff and support functions, while placing the young adult and children’s library in the new addition near the main entrance and street.  The exterior of the church was masked to conceal the telltale signs of a church, with the addition taking advantage of strong, playful shapes and glass to complement, but at the same time downplay the geometry of the church.  The interior design strategy involved the use of varying architectural shapes, materials, and treatments, all combined to create a collage of color and playfulness.