Hyde Park Library

Built on a lot that has stood empty since the violent conflagrations of the 1992 LA Riots, this neighborhood library is both a source of community pride and a symbol of rebirth.  
Hodgetts + Fung worked closely with community members to create design vocabulary which referenced the ethnic heritage of the residents while looking forward to growth and prosperity.  HplusF was challenged to create a specific image appropriate to this neighborhood, which had campaigned successfully for a significant community icon. A copper-clad, syncopated roof structure encloses the reading room, which is easily monitored by library staff, while a tapestry of durable surfaces provides a rugged street presence.
"The Hyde Park Mariam Matthews Branch Library stands as a testament to civic renewal and the healing power of architecture.  More than just a place to read or gather, the library reaffirms the city's faith in South Los Angeles as a vibrant neighborhood and a generator of hope." - Clint A. Pearson
This is a building of intense contrasts. From the uninterrupted view of the treetops across Florence Avenue, to the punched-out shards of sky glimpsed through the north-facing lattices, the building provides requisite security, yet manages to respond conscientiously to the demands of librarians as well as patrons.
Inspiration came from the rich colors and syncopated textures of traditional African clothing and sculpture, as well as the vitality of contemporary music and dance motifs, and the work of African-inspired artists such as Brancusi and Picasso - which resonated with residents, and conveyed an appreciation for the ethnic diversity of Los Angeles.
Project:Hyde Park Library
Project Type: Cultural - Library, Educational - Library, Civic / Federal - Library
Location: Los Angeles, California
Project Size: 10500 sq.ft.
Schedule: Start: 2001
Completion: 2004