Austin’s new Central Library just broke ground a couple of months ago just east of the Seaholm redevelopment project. Austinites will not be able to enjoy the new library until it opens in early 2016, but you can see what to expect with the renderings below that we have obtained from the City of Austin and the project’s architects, Lake|Flato and Shepley Bulfinch:
Here are some of the features that will make the library unique:
It’s not a surprise that the New Central Library is designed to operate 30% more efficiently than code requires. This goal will be achieved with features like demand controlled ventilation, day lighting control, variable water flow, and extensive use of efficient LED lamps. To top it all off, the library will also create some of its own energy with its 200kW photovoltaic (PV) solar array, producing approximately 13% of its own energy.
Retail & Restaurant Space
In addition to a new Recycled Reads outlet (Austin’s used-book store), the library is offering 5,480 square feet of retail space for lease. This space would likely house a cafe or restaurant with outdoor seating overlooking Shoal Creek.
Thinking about driving your car to the new library? You might want to get your bikes out of storage. It’s likely that there will be more bike parking spaces (150-200) than spaces for cars, according a recent article describing the project. The “Bicycle Corral” would be operated by a local bike shop, which could even offer sales and service to patrons. The parking situation for a library being built right next to the Lance Armstrong Bikeway is not as crazy as it may seem; the City is continuing to improve bicycle infrastructure downtown to increase bicycle connectivity.
As of late October 2013, here are a few shots of where construction currently stands:
What do you think of Austin’s new library? Leave a comment below!