In McAllen, Texas, MS&R Architecture turned an old Wal-Mart into a public library–converting a space the size of two football fields into “the country’s largest single-story library.” The project was a winner at the 2012 Library Interior Design Awards.
The inspiring project shows how the boxy architecture of these stadium-sized stores can be converted into a more civic-minded space. Below, we’ve embedded the layout of the library, an evocative way to divide a one-story library.
Here’s more about the design: “To meet this challenge, the designers had the old store interior and new mechanical systems painted white to form a neutral shell for new patron and service areas, which are designated with color. Primary program areas—including community meeting rooms, the children’s library, adult services, and the staff area—are located in quadrants of the building. This clear organization allows easy wayfinding and patron access from a central service spine, delineated by a patterned wood ceiling that runs the length of the building. A secondary spine in orange bisects the first to further distinguish the public community meeting rooms from the private staff area and the children’s from the adult services areas.”
Here is the floor plan of the new library: