The high-tech Mitchell Park Library and Community Center offers a vibrant new civic hub for the frontier of Silicon Valley.
MITCHELL PARK LIBRARY + COMMUNITY CENTER
Palo Alto, CA
The new, joint-use Mitchell Park Library and Community Center replaces two outdated, cramped, and uncoordinated facilities with a thoughtfully designed, bright, spacious, sustainable campus that, while significantly larger than its predecessor, occupies a smaller ecological and physical footprint.
The building program was carefully balanced to meet community needs, optimize flexibility, and maximize revenue generation opportunities. Jointly-used program spaces reduced the overall building size requirement, while features such as individually-accessible classrooms allow for flexible programming and reduced operational costs. Staff desks are centrally located for clear sight lines to major program areas and circulation routes.
The project earned LEED Platinum certification for its broad range of ecologically sensitive strategies, surpassing the City’s commitment to green construction. Sustainability strategies address site design, stormwater management, building orientation and high-performance envelope, use of renewable energy, and recycled-content and FSC-certified construction materials. Educational components located throughout the site include information plaques and “ecoglyphs” indicating the building and site sustainability features. An old growth coastal oak, preserved during construction, became the courtyard’s centerpiece, and represents the balance of new and natural in the project’ s design approach that has created a unique, local, and forward-thinking community asset.
- Client: City of Palo Alto
- Scope: New joint use library and community center
- Status: Complete
- Photography: Cesar Rubio & Gregory Cortez
- Community Improvement Project of the Year 2015 – American Society of Civil Engineers San Francisco
- Award of Excellence – California Parks & Recreation Society
- New Landmark Library – Library Journal
- Pinnacle Award of Merit – Marble Institute of America
- Site Design Award – Santa Clara Valley Urban Pollution Prevention Program
- Finalist, Public/Civic Project Structures Award – Silicon Valley Business Journal
- Second Place, New Institutional Buildings, Educational Facilities – ASHRAE Golden Gate Chapter
- LEED-NC Platinum