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Project Salt Lake City Public Library
Owner Salt Lake City Public Library

Project Size

228,000 sq ft

Project Dates

26 months

Project Location

210 East 400 South Salt Lake City, UT
Salt Lake City Public Library

“Big-D’s commitment to excellence, their persistence in meeting the high standards required, was astounding from day one.”

– Nancy Tessman, Director of the Salt Lake City Public Library

  • Self Performed Architectural Concrete
  • 2006 Library Journal, Library of the Year
  • 2005 AIA/ALA Library Buildings Award Outstanding Design
  • 2005 Salt Lake Design Awareness Foundation, Theresa Bradley Spirit Award for Professional Interior Design 2nd Place
  • 2004 AIA , National Honor Award
  • 2004 ABC Utah, Champion Project of the Year
  • 2004 American Concrete Institute (ACI), Intermountain Chapter, Excellence in Concrete Award
  • 2004 American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) - Utah Chapter , Engineering Excellence Grand Conceptor Award
  • 2003 Intermountain Contractor , Best Utah Project of the Year
  • 2003 Salt Lake Magazine , Best of the Beehive Award

Project Description

Designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie, this stunning structure incorporates a triangular-shaped main building, an adjacent rectangular administration building, a glass-enclosed Urban Room, and a public piazza. A curved, scaleable wall weaves the site together, while a magnificent stairway rises above the base-level shops and eateries to reveal a beautiful rooftop garden.

The adjoining piazza contains an amphitheater, a children’s garden, and a variety of local shops and services. Given Salt Lake’s high desert climate and temperature extremes, this outdoor space will also offer exposure to southern sunlight in winter, protection from unwanted winds in midseason, and a variety of mature trees for shade in the summer.

An iconic feature of the design is the sloping wall that originates at the site’s northwest corner and descends (as it curves) to mid-block point. The wall defines both the Urban Room and the piazza, and provides a connection to the existing library. To further animate the space, the wall is scaleable, thus affording visitors alternative access to the library’s rooftop garden. Multi-level reading areas along the transparent southern facade of the building provide dramatic views of the city and mountains, and overlook the piazza. At night, the glass facade (illuminated from within) shimmers in a crescent-shaped reflecting pool.