Hayward library design finalists, and the winner

A design was selected for the proposed new downtown Hayward Main Library and Community Learning Center  at a joint meeting Tuesday between the City Council and Library Commission. There were three design choices, after the jump you’ll find an overview and artist renditions. Design descriptions are from the staff report, illustrations are courtesy of Noll and Tam, the architecture firm involved with the planning. They’re from a PowerPoint presentation that is available here.


erev1111library02Heart of the City: This design concept draws inspiration from the City’s slogan “Heart of the Bay” and embodies the role of the Library and Community Learning Center as a public space representing the heart and vitality of the community. Its “building within a building” design evokes the concept of a heart as a central and vital place. Among the stronger conceptual design elements that emerged during the focus group discussions were a desire that the building pay attention to and reference the existing nearby structures and the history of the downtown area. This design has perhaps the strongest and most literal reference to existing structures in the area, particularly City Hall.

This is the selected design. Council members Barbara Halliday, Olden Henson and Bill Quirk were clear supporters. Library commissioners Judy Harrison, Lisa Brunner, Kari McAllister and Monica Shultz also liked the Heart of the City.


Park Connection: This concept reflects on the beauty of the park across the street and draws the park vista into the building with a striking three-story inverted bay window on the building’s face. This eye-catching inverted bay window design element is also reflected on and stands out above the rear ofthe building and parking structure, clearly visible to traffic on Mission Boulevard. Among the stronger conceptual design elements that emerged during the focus group discussions were a clear connection to the park, as well as visibility from southbound traffic on Mission Boulevard. Of the three designs, this design arguably does the most to connect the building to the park both visually and physically.

Nobody spoke in favor of this design at Tuesday’s meeting.


Common Ground: Inspired by perhaps the most famous geological feature ofthe area, the Hayward Fault, this design also evokes a sense of energy transformation and disparate elements coming together and combining to create new and interesting formations. It speaks to the notion of an active and diverse community of movers and shakers. The face of this design is also reminiscent of books on a shelf and could be used to striking graphic effect for branding or signage. The idea of the new Library being the crossroads of a diverse community, as well as an energetic and revitalizing presence in the downtown area, was among the stronger concepts that emerged during the focus group discussions. This design is perhaps the most energetic, transformative and forward-looking  of the three designs.

This is the one that Councilman Mark Salinas was pushing hard for, saying it would be an exciting structure unlike any other in Hayward. Library commissioner Stephanie Ayala also liked this one, and architect Christopher Noll said after the meeting that this was the one he found most exciting.

What do you think? I know it looks different from the ground, and I know these are preliminary drawings but I can’t help but think the aerial shot of the chosen design resembles a toilet.

Eric Kurhi

  • qodrn

    Design looks more like a football stadium to me. Anyway, does our library actually keep copies of old documents related to Hayward or does it just check out books? I wouldn’t expect it to go back to 800 like the Vatican, but I wonder does it have some early letters and the like from our citizens?

  • Eric Kurhi

    You might have more luck at the Hayward Area Historical Society, Qodrn. Unfortunately, they are in the middle of a move and their research center is closed, so it’s hard to say exactly when their collection will be available again for public perusal. But the staff there is very friendly and helpful… keep an eye out for their reopening at the new location at the former Kumbala site on Foothill, slated for Spring 2011.

  • Alex

    I really like the first ans third ones. The first one kinda reminds me of the new cathedral in downtown Oakland.

  • qodrn

    So, the historical society is going to open about the time the road gets to be impassible there. Figures.

  • Michael Moore

    The Castro Valley Library has a good section on early Hayward as well as direct access to John Sandoval’s original work. The Book Store can also help you with access as I recall. CSUEB also has access to a bunch of original work as well as the HHS, which is accessible if you care to try them.

    My only real issue with any of the designs is that the City of Hayward should consider whether accepting the Carbon Payoff from Calpine is worth the civic improvement. I do not think it is, personally. The design should meet all of the green building requirements including showers, lockers and bicycle storage access, which I do not see.

    I would like to see percentages of existing to proposed for each of the designs in order to make a clear choice. The light, open and wifi and fully wired aspects of new buildings certainly makes all three designs wonderful.

    I would prefer to see a single or reduce level building as opposed to one which has three floors. Too much space to maintain at a moderate to low level staffing situation.

    I had heard that the USPS wants to close the branch across the street. Perhaps the government would be happy to donate the land, raise the building and close the location so that a lower building could be built there.

    Last but certainly not least I would hope that the City and the County should get together and close the Hayward City Library and add a County Library. It has to be cheaper and the new Castro Valley Library is certainly a pleasant place.

  • qodrn

    Thanks, Michael.

    I agree Alex about the design since I think the new cathedral looks like a football too. Yet, I am too sick this week to really enjoy the Raider win.

    But at least I am at home this weekend instead of the hospital. But if I don’t lose this extra fluid ASAP hospital, I am coming back!

    It would be cool to join the county library since they have more resources than Hayward does in some areas.

    Happy Friday all.

  • Sherry Blair

    Michael you hit on a sore spot for me too. If we are going to have a new library built on the principles of education, learning, knowledge etc., must we prostitute ourselves to Calpine? Isn’t breathing more important than building?

    The city does have the right idea that dreaming comes first and then the money follows, but when you create, you have to keep yourself from falling so in love with your ideas that you become willing to sacrifice your soul to get them realized. The city must slow down and hold out for a better way to manifest the dream. That is the way of the heart we claim to be.

  • Qodrn,
    Sorry to learn that you are ill, but I am so glad that you are able to continue to contribute to the blog. I hope you make a speedy recovery and are well and ready to watch the Raiders next week.
    I am the closest thing to a Hayward native born I could be since I have lived her from 6months of age on until now. I have fond memories of the Hayward Library, it was my second home as a child. I truly will be happy with any design that for a new building, although I will miss the old building for sentimental reasons only.

  • Monica Ruiz

    The Calpine money is not a for sure thing and it’s only 1/5 of the cost of the library.

  • Monica Ruiz

    I like Park Connection.

  • Monica Ruiz

    Eric, I agree it does look like a toilet lid. LOL

  • qodrn

    Sigh. A toilet lid. Where did these designs come from? Who paid for them? Will one of these really be selected for a new library? Do we need a new Library?

  • Michael Moore

    Qodrn, you and I are in agreement, we do not need a new Hayward Library. In fact, I do not understand why we have a Hayward Library at all. We should have branches of the Alameda Country Library. The first thing that should happen is that the Library Commission should commission the elimination of itself and incoroporation of the key parts within the Alameda Library System. Only then should be look at improving the existing library.

  • John W. Kyle

    Mr. Moore;

    Are you certain that Hayward’s Library Commission did not perviously consider some of your thoughts? Those meetings are open to the public, are they not?

  • Monica Ruiz

    If San Leandro & unincorporated Castro Valley can get a new library I don’t see why Hayward doesn’t deserve one too.

  • Michael Moore

    Monica, you make a good point. San Leandro also has their own library, as does Hayward. You have to be a San Leandro resident to use it. I think they would be better off if they were a part of the County Library system as well. The difference between Hayward and San Leandro is that Hayward does not deny non-city residents access to the library without a fee.

    The Castro Valley Library was a long time coming and is a very wonderful location and great facility.

  • K Rocchio

    I think I like option 3 the most. It’s different and eye-catching. I’m more concerned that we haven’t yet figured out how to really tap into the resources offered by our library. Do you realize how many free workshops and programs are currently offered at the Hayward Library. How many of these have you taken advantage of? Will a new facility make these programs more successful?

  • Monica Ruiz

    I attend a lot of the events and also partake in the monthly Mystery Book meetings. I visit the library weekly and check out at least 5 books at a time. A new facility is sorely needed. Hayward has outgrown both of its current locations.