DC -- Shaw Neighborhood Library:
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- SHAWLB_200509_21.JPG: Vivace
Craig A. Kraft
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- Wikipedia Description: Shaw Library
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Shaw Neighborhood Library or Watha T. Daniel Library is a building of award-winning design and one of the recently renovated libraries in the District of Columbia Public Library's system. Originally constructed in 1975 as a two-story structure in the Shaw neighborhood, the building was extensively renovated and reopened as a three-story structure in August 2010. With its distinctive translucent facade, glass enclosure, and light flooded interior, it has been hailed as a model for future libraries.
The Shaw library opened on September 27, 1975 at the intersection of Rhode Island Avenue and 7th Street NW with a ceremony led by Mayor Walter Washington. It reflected a design for the library, drawn up after the 1968 riots that devastated Shaw, which was so prison-like that the National Capital Planning Commission directed the District to open it up with larger windows, bigger setbacks, and arcades. The artictect, Eason Cross of the Alexandria VA-based firm Cross and Adreon, rejected the advice and persisted with the original Brutalist design that had only slits for windows. He continued with his plans, despite an attempt to get a federal injunction to stop, with the justification that the small, irregular size of the lot prohibited any redesign.
The original library, constructed at a cost of $1.2 million, came from Federal appropriations budgeted by the D.C. Commissioners. The two story building contained adult reading room, a lounge area, and a listening booth on the first floor while the second floor provided space for a children's room complete with a specially designed enclosure for story hours. The original building was razed in 2004.
The massive renovation, started with plans received in 2007, was part of a wave of upgrades to DC Public Library facilities undertaken by Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper. Costs were estimated to be $15,707,441 or $433 per square foot, though final costs were reported at $12,000,000. Of any of the projects, the renovation of the Shaw Library showed the greatest transformation from its previous state, according to Cooper.
The building was named after Watha T. Daniel, a master plumber, Shaw resident and community leader who was the first chairman of the DC Model Cities Commission and died in 1971.
In March 2016, a security guard at the library was observed by multiple patrons harassing a Muslim patron for wearing a hijab. Protests were held outside the library & the security guard admitted to harassing the woman although he claimed he thought she was wearing a hoodie. The security guard, who had been previously terminated by Metropolitan Police for destruction of private property, was not fired despite there being no policy against wearing hoodies in the library.
The 22,800 sq ft (2,100 m2) library fills a triangular 9,850 sq ft (900 m2) site and has three stories — one below grade and two above. The entry plaza on the east end of the cite opens to the main lobby that provides access to the lower level which houses community spaces. Peter D. Cook, principal in charge of design at the Davis Brody Bond Aedas archtectural firm responsible for the project, explained that “The Library will anchor the neighborhood by providing a civic facility rich in aesthetic, environmental and programmatic assets that is representative of DC Public Library’s commitment to a standard of excellence for all residents.”
The defining features of the building is a corrugated, perforated aluminum screen wall system across its southern fašade which forms a distinctive jutting prow. With a 40% open area, the screen wall sits three feet in front of an expansive glazed curtain wall and provides shading of the upper level reading room while allowing natural daylight to enter the space. The shading system allows a reduced dependence on artificial lighting and protects the Library’s collection from harmful solar exposure. To take full advantage of the location's potential for unobstructed natural light, clerestory windows and translucent, insulated fiberglass panels on the north provide illumination from the sun on all sides. Lighting design firm MCLA validated light levels in the large, open room through a detailed analysis. The lighting designers developed an electric lighting system based primarily on the T5 linear fluorescent with a 3500-Kelvin color temperature—the lamp preferred by the client for energy and maintenance efficiency. Special fixtures are cantilevered from the tall stacks for vertical illumination on the books, and suspended luminaires are mounted over reading tables and workstations.
The renovated building was designed to meet LEED Silver Certification and incorporates a vegetative green roof, displacement air system, solar control and daylight management and uses of recyclable and renewable materials. It received LEED Gold Certification.
The design for the new library went through several iterations. At one point, amidst budget constraints, model was proposed that scrapped much of the glass and proposed a structure similar to the old version. This was driven by the discovery that Metro has both a tunnel and a large vent under and abutting the library site, making it more expensive to do construction there.
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