AVONDALE CIVIC CENTER LIBRARY SPACE NEEDS ASSESSMENT
We sought to translate the defining features of Avondale‘s natural environment into functional, memorable and contextually-grounded design solutions. Taking inspiration from Tres Rios (the nearby confluence of the Salt, Gila and Agua Fria Rivers) which supports a lush riparian habitat in stark contrast with the surrounding desert floor, our team envisioned a warm and inviting shared “Living Room” space at the confluence between the adult, teen and children’s areas.
Our team felt it was important to provide the client with a more sustainable and cost-effective approach which re-uses the existing entrance and improves its wayfinding value as an alternative. The resulting solution was to propose the addition of a dynamic entrance canopy to extend outwards from the existing entrance toward the parking area, creating a strong visual cue leading first-time visitors to the Library entrance.
DWL initiated a series of field trips to several local libraries accompanied by Avondale Civic Center Library staff. This presented an opportunity to gain direct insights into the client’s needs and aspirations, and encouraged early dialogue and active participation in the design process. Not only did the field trips help the design team visualize the client’s preferences but they also established a strong sense of cooperation and teamwork between DWL and the client early in the project.
To ensure long-term viability of programming and recommendations, design decisions were based in an extensive community outreach and staff surveying effort conducted early in the project. Documentation and analysis of insights gained were used to identify major areas of concern or priority to focus on. For example, access to a variety of programs available for all ages was highly valued by both the public and staff surveyed. These results validated the inclusion of large and small meeting rooms with flexible features such as operable partitions, cleanable surfaces to support flexible use as a maker-space, and location of meeting rooms outside of the Library’s “secure area” for after-hours access.