Route 9 Library + Innovation Center


2018 AIA Delaware Honor Award
2018 American Libraries Association Design Showcase

Location: New Castle, Delaware
Project Size: 43,000 SF
Budget: $20.1 Million

The Route 9 library serves as a catalyst for community transformation and as the anchor to the area’s new innovation district. The bold and welcoming design speaks to the library’s role as a 21st century community center by hosting an assortment of program types that promote learning, spark creativity, encourage technological exploration, and foster connectivity: a STEM classroom, Maker Space, Black Box Theater, Café, Scriptorium for developing writing skills, Lego Room, and more.

Library programs are revealed to the community along the Route 9 elevation to the west, while communal gathering spaces are located in the eastern wing to bridge to the planned Innovation Campus. The iconic, perforated metal skin—meant to recall “The Big Tree” that locals used to gather beneath—unites the various programs with a single gesture, filters sunlight like a tree canopy, and announces the library’s civic presence amongst a strip mall context.

Architect of Record: Tetra Tech
Design Architect: Perkins+Will

Billy Askey served as Lead Designer and Project Architect for this project during previous association with Perkins+Will.