Denver, CO Architects

Riverside Library & Cultural Center

  • Evans, CO

The Riverside Library and Cultural Center is a 31,400sf facility that will accommodate several different, yet compatible, community needs for the Town of Evans. By combining a community library, meeting and conferencing spaces, historic artifact displays, city offices, a coffee shop/internet café, and an Evans Police substation, the new center will serve as the community’s gathering place, with a mix of uses that will generate activity throughout the day and evenings.

The facility is designed to fit respectfully within the character of the surrounding historic residential neighborhood with its use of reclaimed brick from the original schoolhouse (previously located on the site), pitched roofs and landscaped courtyard. The significance of the railroad in the city of Evans is physically communicated in the massing and gable form of the library visually connecting the building to historic train depot stations while respecting the symbolic importance of the library to a community. The ‘U’ shaped plan of the one story building defines an entry courtyard that is surrounded by a perimeter  arcade and  lobby,  highlighted by a bell tower that that supports the historic schoolhouse bell. A common lobby area connects all programmed uses while providing additional pre function and common use space allowing the building to be used after hours and for special events. Interior materials include materials repurposed from the original school house building located on the site: wood flooring, chalk boards, stone lintels and various artifacts as well as a color palette and floor finishes that abstractly reference the railroad tracks slicing through the plains. The library interior is an open volume space lighted with indirect LED lights, natural daylight from north facing windows and borrowed daylight from the courtyard and lobby. Furniture and fixtures are moveable creating opportunities for flexible shifts in programmed uses and community needs. An end wall fireplace provides a visual focus and a quiet zone balancing the dynamic character of the children's area at the other end of the building. 

The building is designed to achieve LEED certification and includes a raised floor system in the library, sustainable material content in all interior finishes, LED lighting, strategically placed windows for maximum daylighting and an elongated library footprint maximizing north and south exposure.