If books have the power to transport their readers to unexplored and unlimited worlds, then the community library is a powerful gateway. Open to everyone, the local library is a vital resource that encourages exploration, learning, and reading. The design of the Woodcrest Library in Riverside, California aims to draw people back to the library and invites them to explore the world of books in a natural, comfortable, and beautiful setting.
The library’s setting on the site along with its design craftsmanship reaches outward towards the community and draws them in to explore the world of reading. Surrounded by horse properties within a rural community, the building’s design honors the region and incorporates the rustic, natural environment that it inhabits. The site is terraced to allow for a variety of vistas and visitor experiences. A tiered procession at the entrance ceremonially welcomes neighbors to enjoy the library and its environment. The abundant use of wood and stone conveys both permanence and warmth while the remaining range of materials complements this vernacular. Distinct spaces for children and adults encourage every visitor, regardless of age, to find their perfect reading spot. The cozy, rounded nooks in the children’s section are the perfect spot for younger readers to escape into their own world of imagination. The notable large rock placed within the sunken reading zone was excavated from the site during construction and has become a favorite spot for children. A sustainable design approach including seasonal sun studies delivered a highly efficient building and comfortable interior spaces. The deep overhang at the full story window wall allows for floor-to-ceiling indoor/outdoor connections without sacrificing indoor comfort. Strategic placement of windows and skylights produce daylighting variations throughout the day and from season to season. Lighting, casework, and furniture selections complement the design and offer options for study or relaxation. Ultimately, the result is a warm and welcoming environment that invites its neighbors to grab a book and stay awhile.