Portland Public Library


A new façade and civic presence have transformed the formerly cold, foreboding library building into a vibrant, modern public resource in the center of Portland. By extending out beyond the edge of the existing building, the new façade and the (future) urban screen symbolize the bringing of library resources and information into the public realm, a re-engagement of the library within the cultural life of the City.

The library had become a “gap” in the fabric of the city.  The dark, lifeless front of the building was the outward expression of an even less inviting interior. A close collaboration between the client and the architect fostered a shared vision and a dedication to create a truly modern facility and a new image for the library and the City. A new curtain wall encloses the unused exterior space in front of the library, creating an immediate dialogue with the life of the sidewalk and square across the street. Interior functions were reorganized to bring the most public spaces to the front, into the public realm and the quieter spaces were located deeper in the building.


Client  |  Portland Public Library

Location  |  Portland, Maine

Photographer  |  Robert Benson Photography; Lower Gallery Photo by Trent Bell Photography

Awards  |  2013 AIA New England Design Award  /  2012 AIA Maine Honor Award