King County Library System
Located 11 miles southeast of Seattle, the town of Renton experienced a sharp population increase during World War II when Boeing built an aircraft factory there. In addition to Boeing, other large industrial companies now call Renton home, resulting in a culturally and economically diverse community. The new Renton Highlands Library is located on a busy thoroughfare, outside of the downtown core but surrounded by retail and residential properties.
The new library is designed to be a highly visible and accessible beacon for the community. Influenced by the history of Renton, the design is inspired by flight – with an airplane hangar typology and the feeling of lightness and airiness in the interior. The building has a limited number of columns, creating good staff sightlines to all public areas and allowing the library to adapt to future technology changes. The library features a main reading room, children’s area, teen section, quiet room, community meeting room, staff work and lounge areas and underground parking. The children’s area is located at the building corner – the most visible location. Expected to meet the energy-performance requirements of Architecture 2030, the design features smart sustainable design strategies that focus on energy efficiency and providing lasting value.