Seeking to renew, revitalize, and reinvent their aged and under-utilized library to better serve the 21st century needs of the residents of Flint, the library board has teamed with OPN to create a signature destination point and catalyst for future development in their community. OPN worked with stakeholders and the community to determine needs, services and facility improvements required to transform the mid-century modern, 60-year-old former regional reference library into a flexible, adaptable space where people of all ages create, make, explore, tinker, test, discuss and grow. Core to this vision will be the goals of enhancing service by reorganizing the layout, expanding the children and teen areas, creating a quiet zone, and incorporating multiple meeting spaces. The design team was also challenged to find a solution to keep parts of the building accessible after hours to activate the entire building to better serve the community.
The team created a more efficient floor plan for staff areas and employed a modern, retail-centric service model to allow the library staff to better serve the public. Adding a spectrum of study rooms and flexible gathering spaces allow the library to operate in a brighter and more open space. More of the building square footage was given to the public to embolden not only the core mission of the library, but to also leave space for programming yet to be conceived.