Already a city landmark, the Austin Central Library is no stranger (or popular – were you there on a Saturday?), Including numerous awards. Now it has received more high profile praise, no less from Time Magazine, which made it one of the “Greatest Places in the World” to visit in 2018.
The Lake / Flato-Shepley Bullfinch building has been brought together in some spectacular locations around the world – the reinvented Tai Kwun building in Hong Kong, the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Golden Bridge in Ba Na Hills in Vietnam Design. Highlight was the central, six-story atrium, which is surrounded by collections, event spaces, and reading porches with views of the lake and Shoal Creek. The magazine was also impressed with the 14 shared study rooms, the rooftop butterfly garden, the “technology petting zoo,” the dramatic events room, and the cookbook-themed café that displays the collection of the late, influential local food writer Virginia B. Wood.
The time also noticed that the building is outfitted with sustainable features, including the bike repair and parking garage and the roof cistern that drains rainwater to the bathrooms, and of course, platinum LEED certification. It’s also the epitome of its place, bringing the surrounding nature and its influences into the design – something that was likely a major criterion for Time’s list.
The 198,000-square-foot building was recently named one of the five finalists for the International Federation of Library Association (IFLA) Public Library of the Year award. The winner will be announced on August 28th.
• The Greatest Places in the World 2018: 100 Destinations To Experience Now [Time]