Hand drawn rendering by  John Rowell

Harrisburg Library Concept Design

Harrisburg, Oregon

In 2011, Rowell Brokaw completed a concept design for the Harrisburg Library. The original plan was to house the library in the Upmeyer House, a Colonial Revival from 1913. Because the retrofit would cost approximately the same as a new building, the committee decided to commission a building that would meet the library’s specific needs.

The final design is a 4,307 sf space that can be overseen by one librarian. Low interior shelving and clear sight lines from the circulation desk create an open and flexible environment. A north-facing clerestory at the top of a sloping ceiling fills the space with natural, balanced light. A Meeting Room/Council Chambers will be available to local non-profit agencies, governmental groups, book clubs, and others. When the main library is closed, this room and its support spaces can still be accessed.

Sustainability informs much of the design. Solar-orientation and proper shading optimizes daylighting during different seasons. Solar panels will collect energy for the library’s needs and have the potential to give back to the grid during summer and other peak times. A rain garden slows the flow of rainwater from impervious surfaces, such as roofs, sidewalks, and parking lots, directing run-off to plants.