The new 33,600 sq. ft. Orange Branch Library, as an important gathering place within the community, has the opportunity to become a landmark building in this growing township. The design team endeavored to create a sense of permanence and pride for the community while providing a warm inviting atmosphere.
The inspiration for the material palette and building forms were derived from the local farms and landscape features found in the region such as the limestone bluffs along the Olentangy River at High Banks Metro Park and the vernacular, agricultural barn forms of the area and rolling terrain. Hand selected FSC certified Douglas Fir wood timbers, local Ohio blue vein limestone shaped by hand by masons on site, cedar wood siding, and metal standing seam roofs also come from this local heritage.
The “flying” butterfly roof form above the central circulation spine gives the design a certain dramatic, iconic imagery that is needed for such an important cultural institution. The library spaces are organized around this linear east-west circulation spine that terminates in a dramatic 26’H double sided stone fireplace and quiet study area to the east. This spine is filled with indirect natural light from an expansive north facing clerestory. Most of the reading collections face the north and west views, while the south elevation has limited punched windows and is primarily reserved for support spaces, mechanical rooms, and book drop-off. Three projecting stone and glass bays frame views of the north landscaping for patrons and provide a space to relax and enjoy the natural elements.