Sir David Adjaye was on hand last night to publicly present Adjaye Associates’ conceptual design for the new 34,000-square-foot Winter Park Library and adjacent events center. Announced in May, the $30 million project will be built on the northwest corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Park, in the Orlando suburb of Winter Park.
In front of a packed crowd of 300 residents and public officials, the firm detailed its approach to creating a space that blurs indoor and outdoor usage while still preserving views of the nearby lake. The library, long and rectangular with enormous arched windows running the length of the building, stands apart from the plaza without blocking sunlight from passing through. The two-story library will have a stage, spaces for children of all ages, and historical components.
A shorter, square version of the main building, the events center is angled to the library and cuts a triangular public space between the two that still allows for visitors to see the waterfront at all times. Capable of holding up to 300 people, the events center will also host a dining area on its roof.
“It feels like somebody has found the perfect position and placed a beautiful tent,” said Adjaye.
By angling the windows and sides of each building upward, Adjaye said that he hopes the buildings will shade the deck area in the summer, while still allowing enough sunlight through in the winter to keep the plaza warm. That same shape, he continued, would allow visitors to walk around the outside of each building while staying dry in the rain.
The audience was enthusiastic about the renderings overall, but some had still had their concerns. A parking deck that had been previously mentioned was absent at Wednesday’s presentation. Mayor Steve Leary answered that planners for the city were currently working on adding a 220 car parking lot nearby, including 70 more spots than the city’s required minimum for a project of this size.
Describing Winter Park Library as a “community campus” composed of complimentary forms, Adjaye said that he hopes his design will honor Winter Park’s past, present and future while preserving its natural environment.
Orlando-based HuntonBrady Architects will be serving as the executive architects on the project, and Winter Park City Commissioners will hold a vote on proceeding with the current design on November 13th.