Friday, July 13, 2012

WalMart-0 / BookHeaven-1

I am totally blown away by this story.  
Whether you agree with them or not, you've likely stepped foot in a WalMart, KMart, or Target store at some point.  The so-called "Super Stores" have changed the face of American retail (probably) indelibly.  But what happens when they fold?  
These MASSIVE spaces aren't your typical corner market for lease... they're landscape-commanding monsters ranging from 51,000-224,00sf.  To give you some perspective, a football field is between 48,000-57,000.  Who else can possibly utilize a structure like that in a typical suburban or semi-rural setting?  The planning department in McAllen, Texas has answered this question in a simple, and brilliantly forward-thinking way.  LIBRARIES!
The transformation of this space is nothing short of visionary.
I can't tell you how much I love the concept of replacing over-consumption with education.  It actually makes me a little bit teary to imagine the progress that this kind of change can inspire.  The space recently won the 2012 Library Interior Design Award.  Designed by Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. (the interior) and Boultinghouse Simpson Architects (the exterior), the library is located inside a 124,500 square foot former WalMart store- making it the largest single-story library in the U.S.  It includes a computer lab, study rooms, study areas for children, teens, and adults, a cafe, an auditorium, a genealogy research area, and more.  Library-goers are loving the new design- registration has increased 23% since the revamp earlier this year.  Bravo, Texas!

1 comment:

  1. I'm dying right now- this is FANTASTIC!!!! I want to live in a library!! I'm a voracious reader and libraries and book stores are my idea of heaven! :)


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