New Bayview Branch Library by THA Architecture and Karin Payson A+D

New Bayview Branch Library by THA Architecture and Karin Payson A+D

Construction is underway on the new Bayview Library in San Francisco, designed by THA Architecture in collaboration with Karin Payson A+D. The new library replaces a bunker-like predecessor from 1969, with a light-filled, welcoming community asset that celebrates the neighborhood's African American heritage through art and history displays.

The 9,000-square-foot library is part of San Francisco's voter-approved Branch Library Improvement Program, and is one of only eight new facilities from among the program's 24 projects. When completed in 2012, the library is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification.

Set on the busy Third Street thoroughfare, the Bayview Branch Library will invite visitors into a serene and secure environment, where the generous use of glass creates a luminous interior and establishes a porous connection between the library and its surroundings. The design, informed by feedback from neighborhood meetings and inspired by Bayview's cultural history, also strives to reflect local priorities and invigorate a sense of civic pride.

Street-level window walls will incorporate graphic panels etched with illustrations depicting the multi-faceted history of the Bayview/Hunters Point area, while within the library, interior walls will showcase artwork by local African American artist, Ron Saunders. In plan, the single story library organizes areas for different age groups-from children to seniors-around a landscaped courtyard that will infuse the library with natural light and air. After hours, the building will continue to serve as a community asset, providing access to a large meeting area through a separate entry.

Other elements support environmentally efficient performance and respond to the site's physical conditions. Inset portions of the roof are lined with clerestory windows and planted with native grasses and perennials, bringing daylight into the interior below while also filtering stormwater runoff. The exterior wall assembly integrates energy-saving stack ventilation and air filtration systems, and a photovoltaic array to supplement the building's energy needs.

THA Architecture