A new 12,000 sf public library sits in a pine grove at the edge of a public park in rural Prince George County, Virginia. The building is intended to recall the agrarian vernacular barn precedents found in the county while expressing a modern open space filled with natural light.

The main volume of the brick and western red cedar clad building is 40′ wide by 160′ long and “slips” just into the tree line at its western end, where an angular glass extension contains an internet cafe. Patrons can sit along the perimeter wall and have the feeling of being outdoors. The eastern end of the building contains a children’s story time area defined by a metal clad half cylinder inspired by the silos often seen at the end of barns in the region.

Nine custom douglas fir and steel trusses set at twenty feet apart support a tongue-and-groove 2×6 wood deck and standing seam metal roof which at night, appears to hover over a continuous window just below the eave line, glowing from within. The library’s thoughtful siting elevates the landscape to a higher level of purpose in a region that had been under served by educational and community learning resources.

Josh McCullar was the lead Project Architect during tenure with Enteros Design, PC, 2009-2011