Los Angeles City
Steven Ehrlich Architects
18231 Ventura Boulevard Tarzana, CA 91356
Mon, June 30th, 2003
Located on Ventura Boulevard, the 12,000-SF library sits at the intersection of a small residential neighborhood and the wider world, both physically and programmatically. As such, it connects the intimacy of home and community to the realm of knowledge and possibility. State of the art computer facilities complement a varied book collection that serves library patrons of all ages, while the comfortable reading and meeting spaces invite community use throughout the day.
Simple forms combine to create dynamic geometries with a sweeping roof that thrusts up and out, and also gently down to provide shelter at the entrance. At street level, the prow-like corner opens with a large expanse of glass, allowing an exchange of views. Inside, the great room expresses a quiet simplicity, with exposed laminated wooden beams above providing warm color. Glass interior clerestories hover over interior walls, while skylights enhance the day lighting of the space. Exterior materials complement the geometry of the building: corrugated metal panels follow the sloping roof while standing seam metal roofs highlight its changing angles.
The landscape design received special care, with materials selected for their appropriateness to the San Fernando Valley climate and more specifically to the nearby creek, thus restoring the feel of a natural environment. Permeable pavements and the introduction of a natural filtration system known as bioswales help control storm water runoff, some of many measures employed to make this project environmentally friendly.