Westwood Branch Library
Located on a side street off busy Wilshire Boulevard, this 13,000-SF library occupies an interstitial zone between high-rise office buildings to the northwest, and private residences to the southeast. In light of the constraints of the 8,350 square foot plot of land for the 13,000-SF library, the architect designed parking in two subterranean garage levels. Except for a few parking spaces and a public auditorium that can be accessed after hours on the ground floor, most of the library’s main spaces occupy the building’s second story. Although an elevator allows direct access to the second story, the building plan encourages them to walk through a sheltered entry plaza and then up a formal staircase.
The building’s east–facing front façade is glazed with channel glass which allows in plenty of light, yet blocks views of cars parked across the street. On the second floor, the eastern end of the building contains book stacks as well as semi–secluded reading areas. This end also features a “reading porch,” suspended above the entry plaza. The west wall of the reading room is glazed with an expanse of clear glass that allows lush views of the adjacent cemetery. This window–wall floods the space with light and helps patrons orient themselves within the building and the neighborhood.