Located in historic downtown Dover, Delaware, the new Dover Public Library represents a balance of respecting the past and reflecting the future of this vibrant capital city. The nearby Georgian style state capital and surrounding city and state buildings required sensitivity to the architectural character and massing for the new public library. The building incorporates the same proportion, materials, and roof profiles that reference nearby historic structures. Conveniently situated next to City Hall, the structure was planned to be a cultural center for the community; while the scale of the Library respects its context, contemporary elliptical and cubic glass building components welcoming to visitors to a distinctly 21st century space. The new facility is warm and inviting with its natural lighting, refined architectural finishes, open spaces, and outdoor reading garden for recitals and group activities. To promote community engagement, the design includes meeting and reading rooms with an array of seating choices and malleable furniture layouts. Reading rooms vary from places with a fireplace for patrons to congregate, to the “Dover Den,” a casual spot for movie-watching, to the “Living Room,” a quiet area for reflection overlooking a roof garden and the historic capital beyond.
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