Antoine Predock - Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library Print
Monday, 28 July 2008 02:10

RHRPL2.jpg Located in Southern Colorado, Pueblo is sited at the foot of the Wet Mountains where the Great Plains meet the Rockies. Pueblo is both a geographical and cultural crossroads. Native nomadic cultures gathered at the confluence of the Fountain and Arkansas Rivers living off of the rivers and the grazing buffaloes. Later farmers and ranchers settled the plains with domesticated livestock.

In addition to the natural geography, Pueblo was also influenced by the railroad. A major north/south line crosses a major east/west railroad line, bringing industry to Pueblo, and resulting in a culturally diverse population. Pueblo’s steel and brick industry brought migrant workers to the community adding to its demographic diversity.

Text courtesy of Antoine Predock Architect PC. All photographs courtesy of Timothy Hursley, Photographer

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RHRPL8.jpgThe new library is a careful response to this natural and cultural landscape. The new 109,000-sf library incorporates the existing site and a portion of the existing library as well as spanning across Bates Lane to additional property to the south. The new facility will rise five stories, taking full advantage of the views over the Arkansas Valley and historic Pueblo to the east, as well as distant mountain views such as Pikes Peak to the north, the Wet mountains to the west and Greenhorn and the Spanish peaks to the south.

A south-facing courtyard greets patrons at the library entry. The new courtyard is planted with fruit trees and is bordered by a reflective pool referencing Pueblo’s agrarian roots and relationships to water. The courtyard is overlooked by a lobby with glass elevators that extend past the full height of the building becoming a light beacon at night.

RHRPL9.jpg Portions of the building are firmly grounded and expressed as a warm tone cast- in -place concrete analogous to surrounding topography. The sky wing that extends over Bates Lane is anchored by warm tone concrete walls that buttress both sides of the street and that is spanned with a glazed bronze clad wedge containing primary reading areas and popular book stacks. 


Entering the library one is presented with commanding views to the east over the Arkansas River and downtown through a 56’ tall glazed lobby wall. The main floor contains book check in / check out, the children’s library and a coffee/ juice bar that opens to the main lobby and entry courtyard. The children’s library defines the north edge of the entry courtyard with a glazed wall greeting visitors with books and children’s activity while passing through the courtyard to the main entry. 


Patrons ascend a grand staircase off the main lobby or take the glass elevator to the second level that houses the library’s main collections. This large open floor radiates outward from a central hub. The information service desk along with computers and Internet access is located near the center.
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The non-fiction collection is housed to the east in a portion of the remodeled existing library. To the northwest, reference and fiction collections comprised of new materials, magazines and audio/visual collections, open to planted terraces and the entry courtyard below, spanning over Bates Lane to the south.

RHRPL7.jpg The third level houses the library’s special collections as well as the library’s administrative offices. The heavily used genealogy collection overlooks the courtyard below and is open to mountain views to the south. The premier Western History collections are open to a two story glazed opening aligned with Pikes Peak to the north. Administrative offices are located in the sky wing spanning over Bates Lane.

Located on the south end of the skywing is a shaft lounge that opens to a private terrace that is covered by a tapered cantilevered trellis above. Employees have access to a secondary entry on the south side of Bates Lane. The upper level of the library occupies the highest part of the wedge over Bates Lane; a special meeting room and 'Infozone' are housed here in a penthouse fashion.

The special meeting room contains a catering kitchen and opens to planted terraces both to the north and south with views of the Colorado Front Range. Cantilevered past the end of the wedge, the 'Infozone' is aligned with a view to the north and to Pikes Peak.

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Text courtesy of Antoine Predock Architect PC. All photographs courtesy of Timothy Hursley, Photographer


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Last Updated on Saturday, 21 November 2009 08:55