Client - Seattle Public Library
Years: 2000 - 2001
Problem - Planning for access by diverse users of a metropolitan public library while allowing for uninterrupted expansion of cataloged library resources.
Problem details - As the Seattle Public Library planned for a new building to house the city's central library, they were challenged to design a facility that:
Both of these of these issues are challenges to libraries in general, and the latter had not been successfully resolved in any previous new library design nationally.
The initial building plans developed by architects, in conjunction with the library staff, raised strong concerns about access from both the Department of Justice (DOJ), who is charged with enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the disabled community of Seattle.
McGuire Associates, Inc. Solution:
Solution Details - McGuire Associates, Inc. was retained by the project architects, OMA/LMN, to facilitate compliance with ADA standards and assist in designing a creative solution that met the needs of all the stakeholders in this issue. OMA is owned by world-renowned Dutch architect, Rem Koolhas.
McGuire Associates, Inc. action steps included:
Outcome - McGuire Associates, Inc. facilitated DOJ acceptance of one of the access models, successfully promoting a win-win solution that met the needs of all stakeholders involved and producing an innovative new approach to library design.
Outcome Details - On April 2, 2001, DOJ approved the Seattle Public Library's access plans, paving the way for construction of the city's new central facility.
The unique continuous slope access system created through this collaborative effort, and referred to as "innovative" by DOJ, provides exciting new possibilities in the future for library planners as the model addresses both access and acquisition expansion needs.
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