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Wisconsin Architect Magazine
Wisconsin Architect E-News Archive: Mosaic March 2009

Verona Public Library

Location: Verona, Wisconsin
Architect: Dimension IV – Madison, LLC
Contractor: Fischl Construction Corporation

The library program called for 31,000 square feet, including built-in room for growth. The program included separate areas for children, young adult and adult collections; a quiet reading room with a fireplace; an open reading area; computer room with staff supervision; study rooms and a children's storytime room with a puppet stage. Also included in the program was a 100-person, multi-function meeting room for library use, public meetings and polling place.

The prairie setting influenced the project in many ways, including siting the building to take advantage of views from the library into the park and the project's color and material palette. A lower-scale entrance is surrounded by garden areas. Increasing in scale and drama from the lobby into the circulation area and through the daylit and richly detailed reading room, the entry culminates with the view into the prairie through the angled and sloped window wall.

The design process included public comment listening sessions attended by the design team as well as a public design charette. This public involvement helped shape the final design of the library. The library's brick veneer is brick donated by the owner of a nearby office development – reblended and sorted to fit the library design. The various planes and slopes of the metal roof change character with changes in the weather and time of day. The exterior brick and stone masonry is carried to the interior palette of materials.

The building layout is organized around an axis from the entry to the grand reading space. This large central space is contrasted by more intimate reading nooks and corner windows. Clerestory windows punctuate the interiors of the collection areas.

In-floor radiant heat, cool daylighting, triple-pane, high-performance glazing and high R-value insulated wall and roof construction add to the comfort and energy efficiency of the building. Many additional sustainable design features were integrated into the project.

Photography: Sapphire Photo Studio

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