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DesignGroup continues their work with Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) with the interior renovation of a new location for the Hilliard Branch. The branch sees the system’s highest circulation was in critical need of additional space. The renovation of a two-story former senior center will triple the usable space available to the branch, expanding from 20,000 square feet in its current location to over 60,000 square feet. The library is slated for completion in 2018. The project is DesignGroup’s second library renovation as part of CML’s transformative 2020 Vision Plan, one of the largest capital improvements programs in its history. DesignGroup has worked with CML on more than 150 projects since 1984.
”Given DesignGroup’s mission-driven approach to architecture, our team is intensely focused on a multi-faceted customer experience, with an aspiration to directly reflect CML’s vision and purpose in the new Hilliard Branch,” says Michael Bongiorno, director and designer at DesignGroup. “Key considerations for bringing natural light into the welcome area through a new atrium, the strategic use of color as a way-finding technique, moments of surprise and celebration throughout the space, and views to the outdoor landscape throughout the library provide CML customers with the experience of being in a comfortable, light-filled, wooded retreat where they can come to be inspired and have memorable social experiences with their neighbors.”
The DesignGroup team turned the challenges of the existing building into opportunities for invention and celebration: for example, reimagining existing structural cross-bracing into dynamic reading nooks in the Children’s, Tween and Adult areas, or cutting a large opening in the existing floor to create a new light-well enhanced by a gracious grand stair to the second floor. The team also worked to develop a series of other innovative, customer-driven experiences throughout the renovated building.
The new Hilliard Branch will serve all age groups and include a computer lab, Homework Help Center, Ready for Kindergarten area, meeting and study rooms, multiple community gathering areas and a café.
In 2016, DesignGroup helped transform the CML Northern Lights Branch into a state-of-the-art facility. Thoughtful library design shows CML to be an innovator, connector and resource partner. CML is passionate about maintaining a sustained presence as a vital civic institution in Columbus, and this is manifested, in part, through great, innovative library design.