PRAIRIE RESOURCE CENTER
Location: Fargo, North Dakota
Typology: Academic Library
Project Type: Academic
North Dakota’s agricultural heritage has created an ever-present connection with the land. The people and the built environment have relied upon the fertile soil in a way that creates visual and spatial landmarks upon the expansive horizon, as seen in the vernacular structures of the area. In the same way, the library form deconstructs and expands upon the mass and void of the strong cylindrical shapes, relating to the land as contrasting visual icon.
As libraries evolve with modern society and resources becomes increasingly accessible, physical spaces for discovery and collaboration can become more crucial than the resources themselves. The collaborative spaces are concentrated around the public central atrium, as the smaller scale stepped reading spaces wrap up and around to the cores of book stacks located in the primary cylindrical forms, fully transitioning to more private and quiet space. This organization provides the programmatic logic necessary to quickly find resources, while maintaining the process of exploration that has been crucial to the longevity of libraries for centuries.
The southern orientation of the atrium provides ample natural light, while light sensitive spaces, such as the computer cluster, are housed in the north. The conical and stepped roofs allow for the direction of rainwater to two primary cisterns for grey water use. The cylindrical forms allow for a steel super structure that radiates from the center accommodating exterior Corten standing seam cladding and stainless steel louvers that address the texture of nearby NDSU agricultural testing facilities.