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Entrant Name
SRG Partnership

Design Team
Jane Hendricks FAIA, Rick Zieve FAIA, Nathan Messmer AIA, Ingrid Krueger AIA, Gary Harris AIA, Uwe Bergk AIA IIDA

Contractor: Pease Construction; Landscape Architect: Swift Company; Civil Engineer: Springline Design; Structural Engineer: Magnusson Klemencic Associates; MEP/Lighting Design: Rushing; Acoustical: The Greenbusch Group; Finish Hardware: Adams Consulting; Cost Estimator: The Robinson Company; Public Art: Leo Saul Berk (Tree Sculptures) and Ron Hwang (Ode to White Sunset)

Owner / Client
King County Library System

Federal Way 320th Library

All Submissions > Scale 2: Building Scale

This new library replaces a smaller, outmoded building with a lively hub that expresses the energy and vitality of Federal Way’s multicultural community. Books, reference materials, computers, much-needed space for children and teens, a community meeting room, and access to a growing number of eBooks animate the 140-foot x 80-foot reading room.

Visibility and interaction characterize this neighborhood landmark. The building is pushed close to South 320th Street and easily seen from either direction on the busy thoroughfare. Large areas of glass accentuate openness and transparency and serve as a beacon at night.

The library’s massing respects its role in a neighborhood transitioning from taller commercial structures in the east to smaller residential structures in the west. The sloping roof expresses this transition, rising up from the west to define the lofty, glazed reading room
at the east.

Providing daylight and streetfront views, the full-height window ensures indoor-outdoor connections, enhances visibility and security, and invites the kind of civic engagement that supports the King County Library System’s democratic mission.

The perforated Cor-Ten steel
rainscreen is well suited to our rainy climate, its orange/brown patina naturally blending with the
surrounding landscape. This porous veil lifts up to allow light to flow between interior and exterior experiences, and enhances a sense of openness that brings the community in. A smaller, masonry-clad volume housing staff and support services slips under the reading room’s envelope from the north to embrace the entry plaza.

The entry plaza, adjacent to parking, is made welcoming with benches and bike racks, along with a meandering, landscaped pathway dotted with unique tree sculptures that draws people from the street.

In the reading room, 70-foot kingpost trusses support the exposed steel deck and glulam beams at a roof punctuated by 13 rectangular skylights that fill the space with natural light. Wood salvaged from the original building provides wall paneling at important public access points and a warm foil to the crisp white structure and walls.

A radiant slab beneath a vibrant custom carpet supplies efficient heating and cooling, and leaves the open space airy and bright. A quarter-acre retention pond and rain garden, adjacent to the parking area, instills onsite stormwater treatment.

Existing healthy and large trees have been joined by native grasses and shrubs to minimize irrigation. The building nestles perfectly into its site and appears to have been part of the neighborhood for a very long time.