Atlee Library Project Wins AIA Richmond Design Award

Lorynn Holloway
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The Atlee Library project in Henrico County, Va was honored with a Merit Award at the AIA Richmond Chapter Awards.

The Atlee Library project in Hanover County, VA, was honored with a Merit Award at the AIA Richmond Chapter Awards. This recognition highlights the remarkable work completed on this community resource, which has transformed the library into a dynamic civic gathering place, serving the needs of a growing, yet still rural, county.

Library patrons enjoying natural light coming in fromfloor-to-ceiling windows as they read books and work on computers.

The Atlee Library is thoughtfully designed to meet a range of needs. The ground floor features a reading area, quiet study rooms, public computers, periodicals, a spacious community meeting room, public restrooms, and the administrative wing. This layout ensures that the library is not just a space for reading but a community center for all ages.

One of the most captivating features of this project is the intimate court with open glass on three sides that warmly welcomes visitors. As you approach the library, this unique space envelops you, offering a sense of serenity and connection to the surrounding environment. The court seamlessly connects to the main two-story, high-volume lobby, creating a sense of openness and grandeur.

A fully open, well-lit library viewed from the second level overlooking the first floor, showcasing private study rooms, books displayed on book shelves, and library reading in lounge chairs.

Moreover, the arrival plaza is designed to maintain visual connections with the adjacent woodlands. This approach doesn't just invite visitors but also fosters a welcoming and tranquil atmosphere. It's a place where patrons can not only access valuable resources but also enjoy the natural beauty of the site.

On the upper floor, the library takes a special focus on younger patrons with children's areas and a teens' space, ensuring that it caters to the educational and social needs of every age group. A digital media lab, creative commons, and a series of small conference and study rooms make it a versatile space that's well-suited for the demands of a modern library. The two wings are thoughtfully connected by an open creative commons and a bridge with a glazed balustrade, fostering a sense of unity and connectivity.

Notably, the Atlee Library is a vital part of the multi-county Pamunkey Regional Library system, serving a large and diverse population. This recognition by AIA Richmond Chapter is not just a celebration of architectural excellence but a testament to the library's pivotal role in enriching the lives of the community it serves.

View the full list of award winners here.

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