Driving the
Library Forward

The new Driving Park Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library addresses what it means to be a library in the Information Age, while providing an underserved neighborhood with a catalyst for community and positive change.

Libraries are in transition: once a point of knowledge dissemination and quiet introspection, they are becoming places to meet, socialize, study, hang out and plug in. The new Driving Park Branch turns the library inside-out, placing traditional modes of library patronage — like focused reading — at the center of the building, while social, interactive functions are located along the perimeter, where they benefit from natural light and engagement with the street.

Because Driving Park was historically known for racing, the project incorporates a “racetrack” concept to organize the different functions, shape the building envelope, and display books and other media. With a transparent street frontage, public meeting rooms, services for neighborhood youth and technology, the Driving Park Branch is not merely a passive provider of information, but also an active participant in connecting community.

The building’s impact is reflected in the numbers: in the first year after opening in 2014, customer visits rose by 60 percent, homework assistance more than doubled, community meetings increased fourfold, and books were checked out more than twice as often as before.

Landscape Design
Landscape Design
Landscape Design
Landscape Design
Landscape Design

Awards and Publications

Awards

AIA Ohio, Honor Award
Contract Inspirations Award
Columbus Landmarks Foundation, James B. Recchie Design Award

Publications

Columbus Dispatch, “New Library Branch Is Making a Difference,” August 1, 2015
Contract, “2015 Inspirations Award Winners,” August 2015
The Atlantic, “Not Your Mother's Library,” October 6, 2014
Columbus Underground, “New Driving Park Library Announced,” December 13, 2012
Columbus Dispatch, “2 library branches to be replaced,” December, 15 2011