Minneapolis Central Library in Minnesota. Carol Post/Thornton Tomasetti.
The new Minneapolis Central Library is part of a two-block, mixed-use development. The library, which houses a 2.5-million-item collection, features 530,700 square feet in five stories with two levels of below-grade parking. Organized in two wings, respective parts of the library are joined by a bridged glass galleria that functions as public space. Retail, gallery and book storage space are included in the plan.
The reinforced concrete frame of the building allows flexible arrangement of book stacks and partitions, while the exposed concrete ceilings create abundant floor-to-ceiling height. Mechanical and electrical systems are hidden in a raised floor surface. The structure is designed to accommodate a steel-framed, domed planetarium planned above the fourth floor of the north wing.
This project faced an aggressive procurement schedule. Two cantilevered galleries and use of architectural concrete finishes for the interior of the building were unique design challenges.
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