PORTOLA BRANCH LIBRARY
San Francisco, CA
Photographer: David Wakley
New San Francisco Library
S Meek in joint venture with Noll & Tam Architects provided full architectural design services for this new neighborhood branch of the San Francisco Public LIbrary. The new building features a dedicated teen space, an expanded children's area, and a community program room accessible after hours for meetings and presentations. Most importantly, it is able to house an expanded collection, and provides computer and Wi-Fi access to the public and more functional work spaces for staff.
This building attempts the same wonder as a book—a simple volume whose articulations at the fine grain define and enhance the opportunities for browsing, reading, and study. The design goal was to extract from the program a set of architectural essences: robust surfaces, active daylight, and an amplitude of space articulated through both repetition and variation. At the library entrance, the public is welcomed by an airy art-filled Periodical Room. The porch-like quality of this entry continues along the full southern edge of the building, with reading chairs in each of the bay windows.