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.
Heart 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.