The new Sunrise Mountain Library is a replacement for a joint use, public library in a high school that had been in existence for over ten years. The look and feel was institutional, public parking non-existent and the hours insufficient. The community had been very patient and because of this deserved the very best. The City of Peoria wanted a building that surpassed community needs, had a wow-factor in design and at the same time was practical and flexible. The Sunrise Mountain Library is a modern full-service regional library with a 100,000-piece collection. The facility utilizes RFID and self-service technology. Library includes adult, teen and youth reading spaces, common areas and multi-use facilities. This community gathering place is warm, inviting and practical. Inspired by the waves off the nearby Lake Pleasant, the nautical theme is reflected throughout the space with whimsical and functional elements. Materials were carefully chosen for its form, flexibility and functionality.
The library boasts several environmentally friendly aspects. The design of the facility, especially the roofline, blends well with the background of mountains in the distance creating a sense of place. The roof’s outer membrane is aluminum which reflects the sun’s rays in the summer months. Run-off from the roofs is managed through an inner wall drainage system that empties directly into retention basins. The exterior panels on the north and south sides were poured on-sight creating savings in shipping. Finally, the glass walls on the east side allow for minimal artificial lighting during the morning hours.
From the client’s perspective, this building is a testament to an architect listening to the client and then weaving their creative ideas into the clients expectations. Sliding glass walls and shelving on wheels allow for expanded programming space but is aesthetically pleasing when not in use. Glassed in study rooms and gallery entrances make for an almost perfect line of sight anywhere in the main areas. Ample wall space allowed for the City to display an impressive art collection that had been selected with the architect’s assistance.
Other interior features, furnishing and color palette went beyond client expectations. The public actually comes to the library and stays, something they did not do at the joint use facility. The building emphasizes comfort, durability and is soothing to the eye which makes for the perfect stop to come and read, peruse the Internet, people watch or quietly talk. The new Sunrise Mountain Library is the perfect balance between the needs of architect, client and customer.