The Winter Park Public Library and Events Center will replace the existing civic centre in the suburban city north of Downtown Orlando, and will be erected on a site close to Martin Luther King Jr Park.
Described by the British firm as a “micro village”, it will comprise three pavilions that house the library, events centre and visitor centre separately. Each will vary in size, but look similar – taking cues from the city’s architecture.
Features include vaulted red walls, intended to reference the archways of surrounding residences. These will slant outwards, with windows fitted underneath to offer expansive views of an adjacent lake – one of a chain in the city – and parkland.
“Our goal is to create a vibrant community village that engages the beauty of the park, maximises social interactive spaces and holds collaborative learning and education at its core,” said Adjaye.
“I am thrilled that Winter Park has embraced our vision, which is truly about celebrating of the city’s heritage and preparing for its future.”
The three buildings will be erected on a slightly raised platform, where Adjaye plans to shape an outdoor public space. A set of steps will lead down to the water and also form seating for the public.
Renderings of the concept show that a roof terrace will top one of the buildings, where a pop-up shelter will cover cafe seating.
The roof of the larger library volume will be punctured with circular skylights that bring daylight deep into the reading areas.
Adjaye Associates’s centre will host a range of facilities for the local community, including collection rooms for all ages, interactive spaces for younger visitors and an auditorium. Maker spaces, internet hubs, classrooms, a business centre, archive spaces and meeting areas will also be created as part of the project.
Ghanaian-British architect Adjaye presented the design to the Winter Park City Commission and 300 community members at the beginning of the month. He was commended for envisioning a contemporary building that is well integrated into the natural surroundings.
“We wanted a unique and forward-looking aesthetic that still felt true to our heritage and it had to be ‘of the park’ rather than simply a structure within the park,” said Winter Park mayor Steve Leary.
Construction on the Winter Park Public Library and Events Center is due to start towards the end of 2018, and completion is slated for the first half of 2020.
Adjaye, who has an office in New York City, was named the world’s most influential architect by Time magazine earlier this year. He was also knighted last December – recognising his “achievements and service of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom”.
The Winter Park Public Library and Events Center will join a host of cultural buildings by his firm in the US, like the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC. His contemporary art museum in San Antonio, Texas also broke ground in June 2017.
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