The San Benito County Public Library in Hollister, CA. - USA 2020
The 2020 Architecture at Zero competition challenge is to create a zero net energy library for the San Benito County Free Library in Hollister, CA. The new library is a resource for the entire community. It is a place where the public can gather – to engage, to learn, to be quiet, or simply to relax.
The concept behind this design started with the heart of the site: the plaza and tree grove. It is open and welcomes the public to enjoy its spaces. It is a place to read, meet or hold events and acts as a hub, providing access the adjoining two buildings as well as natural lighting and ventilation. It is the green heart of the library. The two adjacent buildings are the structure to this green heart.
The east building holds spaces for the primary program of the library: the lobby, circulation services, libraries and varies types of support. Overall, these spaces are open and flexible, allowing for adapting uses but also include selected spaces that are enclosed for quieter activities. The top floor consists of the Wellness Center and adjacent terrace garden that provides space and fresh air to hold some of the wellness center activities as well as events for the library or the Friends of the Library.
The west building houses spaces for the elements of the program that generally require quieter and less dynamic environments, such as the, museum, meeting rooms, and administrative spaces.
Linking the two buildings is an enclosed bridge. The bottom level is transparent, opening views from the street to the plaza, the tree grove and the entrances to the lobby, café and auditorium.