View from Main Street at dusk.

View from Main Street at dusk.

Completed: 2019
Owner: Marion County Public Library
Area: 18,498 s.f.
Contract Cost: $2,643,000
Fabrication/Furniture: $450,000 

The Director, staff and board wanted to depart from the traditional library model and create an innovative, flexible space that could serve their community in multiple ways. Part library, part community center the new Marion County Public Library is open, bright and welcoming.

The modern form of the library speaks to the progressive attitude the staff and board have toward innovative programming but the materials pay homage to the original building and surrounding neighborhood. We re-imaged the pallet of the original 1960’s library, limestone, brick, glass and copper into a 21st century design the allows for lots of natural daylight. The wall of colored glass along Main Street not only references the stained glass of the neighboring, historic church it helps control sunlight and creates an active connection between inside and outside.

Custom items designed and fabricated by Nomi create unique moments within the main library floor. Two “Charge Bars” made from reclaimed wood provide flexible, powered work surface where the community can spread out and plug in. In the Children’s Area “The Cave” creates a playful gathering space where community members of all ages can learn a bit about their local history. Inspired by a local legend of the cave system under downtown Lebanon and a Marion County pig farmer, “The Cave” can be used for programmed activities like story time or un-programmed play time, reading and gathering. 

Photography by Brian Wilson Images.