Columbus Metropolitan Library

The Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) is consistently ranked as one of the best public library systems in America. Backed by broad public support, the CML is preparing a major renovation of their Main branch in downtown Columbus, Ohio.

Changing contexts—both in the city of Columbus and in the way the public engages with information—have rendered the Main branch increasingly obsolete. The renovation project aims to re-establish Main as a primary attraction in downtown and to re-assert the branch as a leading contributor to successful citizens.

Planning for the renovation would need to include the balance of history with the evolution of community learning, and address the needs of a diverse downtown audience.

Bruce Mau Design partnered with NBBJ Architects to create a Space Needs Assessment that serves as the foundation of the redesign and a springboard for the selected design team.

BMD and NBBJ created a flexible yet purposeful toolkit for the architects to create an exceptional renovation in line with the mission of the CML. Findings included 56,000 square feet of recoverable public space, the need to organize space-types around the key behaviours that the library wishes to foster, and strategies to accommodate future evolutions of information technology.