|Central Arkansas Main Library|
|Little Rock, Arkansas|
The sixty-five year old Fones Building has been renovated to house the Central Arkansas Library System's new 100,000 square foot Main Library in Little Rock, Arkansas. The five story warehouse building was selected as the library site for the structural strength of its concrete frame, as well as its prominent location in the heart of the city's convention and business sectors.
The design adds a new brick and precast façade to the building to transform the industrial building into a suitable center of knowledge. The four sides of the building's parapet are inscribed with the names of great literary figures. Throughout the interior, lasting materials are utilized such as wood paneled shelving, limestone floors, metal framed glazing, and wood ceilings.
The interior also reflects the client's special emphasis on youth education. Existing columns, resembling ones in the Egyptian Temple of Ammon, were left exposed to illustrate structural principles. Portions of mechanical systems are exposed to promote an understanding of how they work and to allow for future changes.
Outside, a free standing auditorium in a landscaped courtyard relates back to the neighboring Historic Arkansas Museum.
Wherever possible, "green architecture" was practiced through the use of recycled materials and photovoltaic systems to power the exterior lighting and emergency systems. Five different mechanical systems were compared to determine the most effective system for the library. PSRCP also provided the space planning design that integrated systems furniture with all power, data and teleconferencing services.