Project: Agave Library
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Markets Served: Cultural, Library
Custom Signage Solution for Modern Southwest Library
The design of this 25,405 square foot branch library for the City of Phoenix addresses issues of excellence and affordability in sustainable design. Stacked bond concrete masonry units and glass enclose the simple rectangular volume of a hard-trowelled concrete floor with carpeted “area rugs”, green sandblasted cmu walls, exposed gang-nail trusses, glu-lam beams, steel pipe columns, and sparingly used painted interior partitions.
In the tradition of banks, post offices, courthouses, and city halls of fledgling western frontier towns, whose dignified, yet paper-thin street facades belie their utilitarian construction behind, the Library’s ‘false front’ mediates between its two realities: one of a limited budget, the other of the civic presence expected in a public institution. With its torquing false metal scrim curving along the site’s eastern edge of 36th avenue, the Library’s “cowboy front” gives scale, presence, and distinction commensurate with it position in the community. Constructed in the tradition of the old lathe houses of Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden using off-the-shelf galvanized hat channels, the scale and form of the scrim also recalls the tradition of drive-in movie theaters so common across Post-War American suburbs.
About the Solution
Working with Richard Jensen & Chris Balzano at Will Bruder + Partners, Ltd., ASI helped engineer, fabricate and install an interior and exterior signage program that would complement the environment and guide visitors to their desired destination. The custom interior signage solution includes hydro-cut etched/anodized aluminum panels illuminated with neon. The suspended signs use vibrant reds, blues, yellows and greens to draw the attention of library patrons to important destinations such as the check out desk, elevators and restrooms and audio/visual centers.
The building’s “false front” came to life with the installation of a 90’-L x 25’-h reflective film installation. An installation that required over 600’ of film and 8 days to install. Due to the temperature of the steel during the Arizona summer, the film installation had to take place in the dark of night, with mobile spot lights providing light for workers. This completed installation truly became more than a sign but a sculptural work of art in the public realm.