The Best Architectural Design of 2017: Columbus Metropolitan Library Dublin Branch by NBBJ
For the second year in a row, local architectural firm NBBJ has been recognized by the readers of Columbus Underground as the top design firm for their work on local development projects. This year, the firm stood out for their design of the new Dublin Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library system, which is scheduled to break ground on construction next week.
“We are very excited to be chosen this year, and what’s even cooler is the fact that it is a different size and type of project from last year,” stated Michael Suriano, Senior Associate and Architect at NBBJ. “Our process is one that supports idea-driven architecture and environments. At times, that can be challenging because good ideas don’t fall out of the sky.”
The Dublin library redevelopment represents a major shift for the Columbus Metropolitan Library system, which is nearing the completion of a decade-long overhaul of 10 of their branches. NBBJ has served as the architect on multiple other branches including Northside and Driving Park.
“I think the design of libraries, whether overt or not, is interesting, and I think that it comes through in the projects,” said Suriano. “The scale and variety of opportunity within the project type inherently demands great spaces to maintain relevancy in the face of so many things that compete for our attention. Part of our job as architects is to make sure that our designs have a presence that projects a contemporary attitude about building in the world today.”
In some ways, the new Dublin branch library will serve as a central architectural hub for the City of Dublin, which is undergoing rapid transformation in its historic Downtown area under the Bridge Street Corridor development plan. So far, most of that plan has been actualized through new private development at Bridge Park and Bridge Park West. The library and new park amenities that are under construction will serve as public spaces for residents and visitors in Dublin, making their architectural design of utmost importance.
“Projects like libraries have the potential to be polarizing, because people care so much about what they bring to their communities,” explained Suriano. “We worked with CML and the City of Dublin to bring something that we felt fit the vision of the library, as well as the time and place Dublin is in with regards to its growth. That garners a lot of interest and opinion, and the integration of those was probably the most challenging, but also fulfilling aspect of the project.”
Columbus Metropolitan Library CEO Patrick Losinski echoed much of the same sentiment about the processes of working on this unique project in the City of Dublin.
“This is a great honor for us and certainly a deserving one for NBBJ,” he stated. “The design of the new Dublin Branch reflects not only the changing roles of public libraries, but also the forward-thinking Dublin community.”
Suriano stressed the importance of high quality design of the built environment in a growing city like Columbus, and encourages more civic discussion and advocacy on the topic for the greater good of the city.
“As a community of people invested in the culture and presence of Columbus on the national stage, we should all be proud and vested in things that will set our community apart from others,” he stated. “Design is a great differentiator, and I hope that we continue to maintain that interest and fervor in creating thoughtful environments with the future of our city in mind.”
For more information about NBBJ, visit www.nbbj.com.