Cherry Hill Public Library / Cherry Hill, NJ
Illuminating minds through inspiring spaces
Libraries have evolved far beyond their early function as book warehouses: they’ve become gathering areas, workspaces, classrooms, computer labs and job-hunt headquarters. Filling all these roles and more, the new Cherry Hill Public Library greets up to 1500 visitors a day, all attracted to 72,000 square feet drenched in sunlight, thanks to the oversized window assemblies on all sides.
The three-story new construction project was designed as a showcase for the community, and includes a café, gift shop, meeting rooms and fireplaces. Operating and non-operating window units provide natural light as well as an energy-efficient barrier to minimize heating and cooling costs; the walls of light include a dramatic assembly on one end of the library that spans the full three stories. "People just gravitate to the seating by the window areas," said library director Manuel Paredes. "Our best comments come from our staff — it's such a pleasant space, they simply don't want to leave at the end of the day."