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DWL Architects


City of Scottsdale, Appaloosa Branch Library

Like a mirage, this 21,242 square foot library appears to float above an arroyo as iridescent walls shift colors with the day’s changing light. The building epitomizes environmental design without sacrificing aesthetics, earning the library LEED® Gold certification.

The vibrancy of the library’s public spaces is captured at the main Reading Room, with its high-sloped ceiling, natural light from multiple sources and lounge seating. The reading room is separated from staff spaces and meeting rooms by a geologically-layered concrete wall composed of three horizontal bands of exposed concrete. A clerestory and panoramic north windows topped by smaller windows that spell out the name of the library in Morse code provide a constant level of filtered light throughout much of the day. The large east-side patio and continuous north-side glazing helps blur the line between interior space and the outdoors, allowing visitors to connect with the surrounding mountains and Sonoran Desert.

Designed in collaboration with Douglas Sydnor Architect and Associates.

Awards & Recognition:

  • Valley Forward Association Environmental Excellence Merit Award – Building & Structures Civic category, 2011
  • AIA Western Mountain Regional Honor Award, 2010
  • AZRE Magazine ‘RED’ Award for ‘Most Sustainable Project,’ 2010
  • Library Journal’s New Landmark Library – Top 10, 2011


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