Claremont Branch Library
Benvenue Avenue Elevation (3.31.2010)
Since Berkeley’s voters approved Measure FF in November 2008, the Library has embarked on its building program to enhance library services and to improve accessibility, code compliance and seismic safety in all the neighborhood branches.
The design team of Gould Evans / Baum Thornley has been selected to work on the Claremont Branch Library project, which entails restoring the interior historical elements of the 1920’s building and expanding the 1970’s wing 350 sq. ft. by infilling at three corners (SW, NW, NE) of the addition and adding new construction for children’s services at the junction between the two wings.
The newly renovated and expanded Library will comply with all current codes including being seismically safe and fully ADA-accessible, to serve the Elmwood community into the future. Information on the condition of the branch is available in the Branch Libraries Facilities Master Plan and was updated in the design process by the architects. Input from the community during the planning process, including the four neighborhood community meetings and three design presentations made to the Board of Library Trustees, was a critical piece of the decision-making process.
Features of the newly renovated and expanded Library include a more open and inviting lobby area which will feature a centralized service desk for convenient assistance, new display units for ease of browsing new materials, and accessible self-check machines; a new separate, enclosed acoustically-treated teen room; and increased and varied seating so one may settle in to read the newspaper in the adult reading room, pull up to a work table or curl up with a good read in the new reading nook, which replaces the original entrance. The children’s wing will feature a fun, new picture book alcove for children and caregivers to explore and enjoy and a large multifunctional space, which will host a variety of children’s seating options, collections and programs. Skylights are planned in the teen and children’s areas to introduce natural light as well as a new bay window with bench seating at the rear of the children’s room.
Exterior improvements include a new accessible ramp built to the current code, new landscaping, benches and signage. The entrance façade will have tall dormer windows for a more transparent feeling and to bring more light into the lobby area. Bricks from the existing ramp will be reused in the landscaping to create seating in a wave shaped wall in front of the new ramp. A new information kiosk will replace the current one and exterior lighting will be improved on the Benvenue side of the building, creating a better street presence.
In keeping with Berkeley’s commitment to a green future, the renovated library will reduce energy and water consumption, achieving LEED Silver Certification.
The planning process is ongoing and prior to construction beginning the final plans will be reviewed as required by the Board of Library Trustees and other city boards, commissions and agencies. For more project information, go to http://berkeleypubliclibrary.org/branchimprovements or call 510-981-6195.
The Library continues to seek input from the Berkeley community! Please share your comments, questions, and ideas about the branch improvement projects on a Branch Improvement Program Comment Form. We value your input!