The new Martindale-Brightwood Library is more than just a building. Even before the first sketch was produced, the Library and design team organized a discovery process to understand the hopes, wants, and needs of the community. These efforts revealed a desire for the Library to reflect African American culture, the rich history of the area, and the undeniable spirit of the people who call it home. The Library, which sits on a brown-field redevelopment in an economically depressed area received its LEED Silver certification in August 2021.
The ultimate goal was for the Library to become a neighborhood hub; a safe and welcoming place for community gatherings, seniors to socialize, and for children and teens to spend time in a supportive and nurturing environment.
Taking inspiration from the use of pattern and texture in African Art to amplify stories, the materials used on the exterior of the Library tell the story of a tree going through the four seasons: blooming in Summer, dropping its leaves in Autumn, standing strong through Winter and its rejuvenation in Spring.
Large windows flood the interior with natural light and provide a connection between the community outside and the Library staff and patrons inside. Along Sherman Drive, these portals are an opportunity to sit, reflect and observe the evolution of the neighborhood. They also offer passers-by an inspiring glimpse into the collections housed within the Library.
The Martindale-Brightwood Library is an iconic structure reflective of the people the Library serves. It is a place where innovation and discovery reside and serves as a catalyst for growth, rejuvenation, and positive change.