Noll & Tam Architects

Noll & Tam Architects

Berkeley, CA


Valley Hi-North Laguna Library

The City of Sacramento sought from the beginning to deliver a distinctive, flexible, high-performance branch library to this underserved yet growing community. The library is sited at an intersection unique within the community: planned high density multi-family housing to one side, Consumnes River College across the street, a new 10-acre park to the south, and retail and freeways within eyesight. The branch library seeks to establish an anchoring presence, while also being inspiring, sustainable, and low maintenance.

This LEED Gold library sets a precedent for insulated tilt-up concrete walls and establishes a new standard for sustainability in a civic building. The V-shaped roofline mimics the shape of an open book and uses generous natural light to create a dynamic learning environment. The light-filled design, punctuated by a cheerful red tower that marks the children’s reading room, provides a welcoming landmark for this growing community. Inside, a brightly-painted steel beam accentuates the “spine” of the book and establishes a clear building organization.

The design team collaborated with the library building committee to maximize square footage and provide daylit spaces for patrons and staff.  Working from a program that outlined distinct service areas, the design team organized the interior spaces along a steel “spine,” continuing the imagery of an open book.  The spine orients the patrons to the facility, and allows them to view into distinct spaces for children and teens, three group study areas, a learning center, and a computer lab with internet and word processing.  Generous spaces, now common in libraries, include a community meeting room that can accommodate as many as 100 people, and a food court for refreshments and socializing.

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Status: Built
Location: Sacramento, CA, US
Firm Role: Architect
Additional Credits: Noll & Tam design team
Chris Noll, Principal in Charge
Trina Goodwin, Interiors Architect

Consultant team
Architect: Noll & Tam
Interior Design: Noll & Tam
Civil Engineer: JTS Engineering Consultants, Inc.
Structural Engineer: Ingraham DeJesse Associates, Inc.
Mechanical Engineer: Guttmann & Blaevoet
Electrical Engineer: Guttmann & Blaevoet
Landscape: The HLA Group
Lighting: Alice Prussin Lighting Design
Interior designer: Trina Goodwin, Noll & Tam Architects
Acoustical Engineer: Walsh, Norris & Associates, Inc.
Signage: Matthew Williams Design
Contractor: Sundt Construction, Inc.

Photography: David Wakely Photography