Snøhetta and Clark Nexsen: new library in North Carolina revealed

The upcoming five-storey building provides views on the city and terraces, together with reading rooms and recording studios.

Designed by Snøhetta in collaboration with Clark Nexsen, the new Main Library is part of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library – the public library system of the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County that counts 3.4 million visitors each year. The building aims to be more than a simple library and serve as a public commons and knowledge center.

The new complex, located at the intersection of two important arteries of the city, Tyron and 6th Street, tries to create a bridge between the past, present and the future of Charlotte and to constitute a meeting point for both community and culture. On the groundfloor of the five-storey building, a glazed band at street level invites people to enter and look inside, while a curved volume enclosing the upper floors is cladded with a luminous pattern regulating light conditions inside.

A high welcoming atrium invites visitors to discover the whole library through a spiraling wooden stair. The upper floors offer views on the city through glazed facades and, on the second and fifth floor, two terraces and green areas are provided. Included in the program, job training and counseling, a welcome center for new residents and an archive of rare books on North Carolina’s history. Also, a techology center, recording studios and reading rooms on the top floor are included.

Charlotte Mecklenburg new Main Library
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Design Architect, Landscape Architect, and Interior Architect:
Clark Nexsen
Structural Engineer, Sustainability:
Thornton Tomasetti
MEP Engineering:
McCracken & Lopez
Civil Engineer, Landscape Architect of Record:
Construction Management Team:
Rodgers Leeper
Project Manager:
Mecklenburg County Asset and Facility Management
Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County
10,683.85 sqm

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