Talbot County Free Library Competition Entry, 2011

Talbot County had a competition to design a new library located in Easton, Maryland.  This design considers the library as a secular church: a public gathering place, a place for contemplation and enlightenment, a civic marker, and a hub of community life.  It has a monumental form but pedestrian scale.  The building is oriented to the street and seeks to animate it.  While the building uses historic forms, the design is careful not to be mistaken for a historic building.  The building uses sustainable strategies such as extensive skylit chimneys that bring natural light down through all three levels and vent for thermal loop cooling at night.  Due to the changing nature of library technology, the building is designed as a flexible shell with interior that can be rearranged as needs change.  There is a core of light and people, ringed by information (books and computers) and enclosed in thick/permeable walls that provide individual spaces.