Rockville Memorial Library

Rockville, MD Completed 2006
Project Highlights
  • 100,000 sf
  • New Construction
  • AIA Honor Award for Architectural Excellence, AIA Potomac Valley
  • Award of Excellence, NAIOP, MD/DC Chapter
  • Historic Preservation Award, Peerless Rockville
  • Craftsmanship Award, Washington Building Congress (WBC)

A unifying community anchor.

Facing a pedestrian plaza brimming with activity, the Rockville Memorial Library stands as a vital mainstay in the community, serving as a beacon even through the economic downturn of 2008/2009 as surrounding businesses closed. Glowing and inviting, the library welcomes all to enter and enjoy with extended opening hours.

Street level retail surrounds the Rockville Town Square, creating a constant buzz of life and energy that flows into the library. The library’s undulating façade distinguishes it from its commercial context, and pays homage to the mapping of the human genome which took place in Rockville in 2000.

Entering the library from the heart of the square, the lobby draws visitors into the dramatic two-story atrium space. This oval-shaped volume visually and physically connects the two public floors of the library. This dramatic space—with its terrazzo floor and “starry night” ceiling—leads visitors up the transparent curving stair to explore the second floor.

The two-story atrium organizes and anchors the surrounding spaces and floorplan. Book shelves are arranged in a radial pattern, allowing optimal sightlines from the staff service desk. A curving “wonder wall” separates the public and private areas.