Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Hennepin County Library in Maple Grove, Minnesota by Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle
March 24th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
In the past ten years, Maple Grove has grown to become one of Minnesota’s largest suburbs. The area has evolved from a natural oak savanna and agricultural fields to gravel mines serving the state highway system. This ever-changing landscape of human development resulted in barren land and artificial lakes (leftover from mining activity) as the future site for the library.
Responding to the community’s desire for a gathering space, and seizing the potential of the site, the new Maple Grove Library is designed as a pavilion in a park, connecting residents to information, the outdoors, and the larger community. A seamless building and landscape design fully integrates the library and park, while a lake provides renewable, hydrothermal energy for the building.
The design team’s goal was to create a community living space, shaped by knowledge and technology. The design integrates outdoor views and spaces, such as a reading porch, which creates a strong inside-outside relationship and extends the experience beyond the walls of the library.
Energy conservation was a driving force in the design. The building was shaped to maximize daylight. An estimated 22.8% energy savings comes from daylight harvesting and another 24% from renewable energy sources. Designed to exceed the Minnesota energy code by more than 40%, the library provides an annual energy savings of more than 1,329,100 kWh. The building was designed in accordance with the Buildings, Benchmarks, and Beyond: State of Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines.
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