Morris Frank Library
The Morris Frank Library represents the new direction in library services by the HPL system. Relocated from its original location and inserted into the ground floor of an existing atrium building, a once disparate arrangement of office suites in a low-income area of Houston is now a forward looking public library benefiting from an increased level of community connectivity and density. The primary goal of the new facility is to provide expanded access to computer and mixed media resources for residents of this historically overlooked area of Houston. A new dedicated exterior entrance courtyard and canopy provide a singular and bold statement to the library’s presence in the neighborhood. Structure and mechanical lines were left exposed and painted black to provide a sense of openness despite low floor to ceiling elevations. An emphasis on the use of primary colors provides visual interest and cues to different programmatic areas. Low voltage and zoned lighting, natural light drawn from full height perimeter glazing, and new efficient mechanical systems reduce energy usage far below baseline levels. Interior glazing was salvaged and reused. Finishes and furniture were selected for durability, ease of maintenance, recycled content, and low VOC counts. The program encompasses dedicated reading areas for adults, teens, and children, instructional rooms, private study rooms, and support spaces within 9,000 s.f. The computer workstations were designed by the architect, and a collection of memorabilia was curated, including photography and art of the library’s namesake.