Ann Arbor Library(renovation)

Ann Arbor District Library

History
The Downtown Library opened at the corner of Fifth Avenue and William Street on October 13, 1957. Alden B. Dow, a member of the Dow Chemical family, was the designer of the modern building. The new library was built to meet the ever changing needs of the patrons and the new technologies being introduced to libraries at the time.

Past Projects
An expansion doubling the size of the 1957 building was completed in 1974. A third addition was completed in 1991, again doubling the size of the library, in order to meet the needs of a growing collection size, rising circulation numbers, and increased programming offerings.


Project Description
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Ann Arbor Downtown Library

The Ann Arbor Library is going through decisions or discussions to renovate the library over the past two years. From the construction to the designs it shows that everyone from official, library staff, focus groups, special interest groups and ordinary is having a say on what they want to be built in the library. Library Green Conservancy, who is lobbying for creation of a downtown park on the city-owned Library Lot, wants to create a north entrance by the North parking lot. Members of the group, argues that a north-facing entrance along the Library Lane would allow for better integration with the space they envision being filled with people and various activities. This is one among the other many of the ideas library officials had when they proposed a new library two years ago, an idea rejected by voters, could be developed on the Library Lot, including an auditorium, added meeting space and multimedia facilities. Library Director Josie Parker said the idea of a north-facing entrance was considered and ruled out already because it would have been significantly more expensive and would have resulted in loss of valuable interior space in order to make it work. Unfortunately, Library Director Josie Parker said the idea of a north-facing entrance was considered and ruled out already because it would have been significantly more expensive and would have resulted in loss of valuable interior space in order to make it work. There also redesigns for the current west-facing entrance plans were underway with Cory Lavigne of InForm Studio which gave a presentation showing design of the entrance. The new images showed more conventional front steps to avoid potential tripping hazards, while still having two sloping walkways to improve accessibility. Responding to concerns about the gray "concrete skin" panels wrapping around the front of the brick building, Lavigne showed what it could look like if those panels were light green. Two additional handrails would line up with the entry doors, and a fourth handrail would be on the far south edge of the steps. The handrails will extend a foot beyond the edge of the steps at the top and bottom.
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Ann Arbor entrance designs

Even the outside exteriors are being argued and redesigned, from a large, backlit, translucent entrance sign shown in previous renderings has been eliminated and replaced with a much smaller sign affixed to the panels that wrap around the building. Some residents spoke up and argued the building would be better off without such a sign, arguing it takes away from the architectural integrity of the 1950s-era building designed by Alden B. Dow. A number of residents also spoke up and urged keeping the teal porcelain enamel panels that exist now or at least something similar if they need to be replaced. Members of the Ann Arbor Commission on Disability Issues and other advocates for the disabled also provided feedback, suggesting more could be done to improve accessibility, including more railings and "rumble strips" before steps. A landscaping area on the northern side has been reconfigured, based on those feedback as well. It will be edged with bluestone material to frame in the area, which will have native grasses and wildflowers that don’t require a lot of maintenance. Existing storm water drainage will spill into the planter bed, so there will be no need for irrigation.
As far the writing goes there are still plans being made.

Reference
http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2014/03/downtown_park_supporters_urge.html

http://www.aadl.org/files/skanska-estimate.pdf

http://www.aadl.org/