"The library's massing and articulation responds to the rhythm, proportion and patterns of these buildings, offering a modern interpretation of the local architectural vernacular. Tall, narrow windows and large-format tiles on the exterior reinforce the rhythm of the heritage buildings, yet there is a sense of connection and transparency, which was a key focus for the design."
The building also addresses the park a narrow lane was closed off behind the library to create a pedestrian precinct, which is where the main entry was positioned. This creates a direct link with the rest of the park and the Joe DiMaggio Playground.
Maytum says the library was also designed to maximise view corridors to notable San Francisco landmarks, including Coit Tower, the spires of two churches Saint Peter's and Saint Paul's and the Transamerica Pyramid Tower.
"We provided large areas of glazing at the nodes of the triangle, like urban lanterns, which respond to the views and also to the program inside. The sharp end of the building at the crossroads accommodates the children's area, while the other two corners are the adult and teen reading rooms respectively. Children can look out and see cable cars and busses passing by there's a lot happening right outside the windows. Windows in the teen area look out to Telegraph Hill, the Coit Tower and down to the Bay."
The interior also reflects the desire for connection and transparency. There are sightlines through the building, as well as to the outside. And the reading rooms are soaring, double-height spaces with exposed trusses and services.
"I myself carry memories of the great reading rooms in libraries I visited as a child," says Maytum. "These were very uplifting and inspiring spaces, and this was the idea behind creating such a volume in this library."