Auraria Library / Denver, Colorado/ 1974‑1976
Size: 184,000 sq ft / 17,100 sq m
Height: 2 floors
Status: Completed 1976
Recognition: AIA Chicago Chapter Award
Auraria Library was built as the central learning resources center for a new college in Denver and contains a library, media production center, and education facilities.
The organization of the building into two levels above grade and a partial basement reflects its different functional elements: the media production center requires no natural light, while the reading and support spaces of the library require maximum exposure. The two floors are developed as flexible “loft space.” Two open courts placed asymmetrically within the plan subdivide each floor into various use areas, accommodating outdoor reading and providing natural light and ventilation. Three open stairways connect the two levels, and all individual rooms are placed along the perimeter.
The façade is defined by horizontal louvers that fill the interior spaces with ambient lighting and create intimate reading spaces throughout the building.