EBR Main Library wins national award for unique "skin"

EBR Main Library wins national award for unique "skin"
This design photo shows you the roof complex for the building (Source: East Baton Rouge Main Library)
This design photo shows you the roof complex for the building (Source: East Baton Rouge Main Library)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - There's no denying that the East Baton Rouge Main Library on Goodwood has good bones, and now is being honored for being "stacked". The library's oo's and ahs-inspiring design has drawn yet another prize for Baton Rouge. This time, it's the roof.

The National Metal Construction News: Building and Roofing Awards have chosen the EBR Main Library is the winner of the Metal Roof-New category for the nation.

As part of the review, MCN wrote, "The judges really liked the beautiful use of materials, and said the Library's form is exceptional. They also liked how the entryway with the cantilevered volume above the glass, along with how the wall panels fold into a roofing system, creates a cool-looking building."

Usually you think of cantilevered as being Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral, but if you look closely at the multi-level façade, you can see why it drew that description.

The proud papa's of this beauty include VMZINC-US, the company which provided the unique surface on the metal panels. Company president Daniel Nicely knows this building was important, "This new library branch is a focal point of the local community park in which it resides and will serve the citizens of Baton Rouge and the parish of East Baton Rouge well."

There are actually several types of zinc panels, about 40,000 square feet of them. They run horizontally and vertically as the skin for the building.

Architects chose the finish because zinc will not demand paint every few years, it will not rust like some metal roofs, and it seasons to a beautiful warm gray patina over time, said project managers. They are Cockfield Jackson Architects of Baton Rouge, interior architect Dewberry of Dallas and exterior architect Tipton Associates of Baton Rouge. The metal installer was a company called Roof Tech.

Architect Lisa Hargrave is proud this building is not a prefab cookie cutter effort, there's a hand-made quality. "Zinc was chosen because so many of the details could be created and constructed on-site allowing for a truly unique application," she said, "while leaving evidence that this building was truly crafted on-site by people and not simply created by machines."

Looking at the library's roof, you'll notice the large surface is folded with the outside eaves soaring upward. That "Butterfly Effect" funnels rainwater into a cistern, that the library will use for the greenery outside during the hot months of the year.

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