McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture was commissioned to design a new 28,000 SF branch library for Greenville County Library System. This library serves an expanding suburban community and is central to six local elementary schools, all within a 3-mile radius of the new location. The new Five Forks Library is on the site’s highpoint, set back from the 4-lane commercial corridor and features a natural green meadow foreground to a create a civic preserve and to distinguish itself from the visual clutter of strip shopping malls, parking lots and detention ponds. Parking for this branch is located to the rear of “public” face and is linked to the entrance with a landscape promenade, connecting the library to the natural wooded area and an outdoor pavilion.
The design showcases a large central volume that houses the primary public spaces; it is a very high and dominant form that features large, expansive glazing systems to the North and South that allows natural daylighting to penetrate the space. The ancillary lower side volumes house support and collaboration spaces. The exterior skin will be a durable low maintenance combination of metal panels and glass.
The interior is designed to maximize flexibility by using large, deep trusses that create a column-free floor area throughout the library. Flexibility is also achieved through the incorporation of a raised access floor system that supports an underfloor air delivery system as well as power and data management throughout. With the use of the underfloor air system the library will have the benefit of reduced energy consumption, lower energy costs and improved air quality by providing the air directly to the user zone.