A Center for Opportunity

North East Library

North East Library

Cecil County, Maryland

This new library is designed to help County residents of all ages thrive. The Cecil County Public Library provides much more than books, seeking to help the community prosper by supporting educational attainment, workforce development, small business growth, and more. Rooted in the County’s rich heritage as a Chesapeake Bay community, our design updates traditional forms for the digital age.

From a cutting-edge early childhood learning center to a business commons for entrepreneurs, the new library provides spaces that support success. Our design connects past to future, learning to play, and people to nature to help the community flourish.

Our community can be extremely proud of this beautiful new library that reflects its greatest attributes and aspirations.
A photo of the library's upper-level reading terrace overlooking a grove of trees.

Biophilic Design

The building is organized on a continuum from the adjacent commercial area to the wooded site edge, with geometric forms on the entry façade giving way to natural elements inside the building. Expansive windows, a ground-level activity terrace, and an upper-level reading terrace overlook a grove of trees.

A photo of a mother reading with two daughters in the warm-toned, cozy family gathering area.

From Main Street to Estuary

Our interior designers created a palette of natural materials and soft colors that reflect the waterfront setting. Curved walls and flowing patterns evoke running water, while wood features and stone-like textures recall boats and vernacular buildings.

A photo of children exploring an interactive educational area of the library.

Lifelong Learning

Informed by meetings with local students and teachers to understand their unique needs for the library, the children’s area encompasses a range of engaging, hands-on educational spaces. Areas include a large early childhood learning center and a STEM activity space for older children.

A photo of the teleconference-ready meeting rooms that can be utilized by local business owners and entrepreneurs.

Supporting Entrepreneurs

In response to the Library’s desire to support local business owners, we created a dedicated business commons where entrepreneurs can access teleconference-ready meeting rooms, use dedicated printers and equipment, and consult with a small business librarian.

A photo of the building exterior that is lined with many glass windows.

Sustainable Strategies

Cecil County’s location on the Chesapeake Bay has shaped its past and will impact its future. Special care was taken to conserve and manage water on the library site, with low-flow fixtures and stormwater management features integrated into the design.

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