Allegan District Library
Allegan, Michigan
Learning
 Project

Challenged to expand a circa-1914 Carnegie Library and its 1970s addition, we began with a resourceful plan to optimize the steep downtown site, acquiring adjacent property and reworking vehicular access. Our design was inspired by the Kalamazoo River running along the back of the property, with an organizational flow that doubles program areas and resolves accessibility issues by cascading down the hill from the street entry to the main level and on to the lower level, parking, and the river. An inventive STREAM concept (science, technology, reading, art, and math) informs the new spaces for teens and children, while expansive windows provide river views and a new reading deck overlooks the water. Strategically set back from the historic building line, the addition complements and extends the library’s presence along the street without overshadowing the iconic original structure.

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