Knutson Celebrates the Grand Opening of the Hennepin County Library in Brooklyn Park
MINNEAPOLIS, MN Together, with the Brooklyn Park community, Knutson celebrates the completion of the new $23.5-million Hennepin County Library in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. The best value project began in April 2015 and has been a collaborative effort with HGA Architects and Engineers and Hennepin County.
The new library replaces the original 1976, 15,000-square-foot library on Zane Avenue. Located on the northeast corner of 85th Avenue and West Broadway, the new facility is approximately 40,000 square feet and focuses on flexible space that maximizes staff's ability to create new areas for engagement and learning. The facility utilizes a raised access floor throughout a majority of the building, a new innovation for maximized flexibility. The access floor allows mechanical, electrical, and plumbing pipes to be placed beneath it avoiding the need to have ductwork and conduit overhead. There are also over 300 air diffusers in the floor that create an upward airflow to minimize sound and improve air quality.
Though the library is a single story facility, it features three large vaulted ceilings and a massive vaulted "butterfly" ceiling in the entryway and southeast portion of the building. The three areas create intimate settings separated from the main portion of the library. Spaces are defined by custom patterned carpet and furniture, and include the adult area - home to computer stations and a majority of the books and magazines; teen area - featuring technology stations, an eight-foot-tall glass magnetic marker board, and a sound proof production studio; and children's area - showcasing a myriad of play-based spaces for children and families to engage in active learning. Pieces in the children's area include the "Amazing Airways" (clear plastic tubing which blows air in various directions and creates a floating array of ribbons and foam balls), a giant light bright, a wooden playhouse, an insect microscope, and various toys. The library has seven private study rooms that are named after types of raw materials such as zinc, iron, and slate. The rooms have custom patterned wall coverings that were inspired by various cultures around the world.
The exterior of the building is just as unique utilizing an array of building materials, including hand chipped Virginia slate, custom metal panels, and stained cedar siding. The design also incorporates two pieces of public art, including: a hand welded steel bike rack representing an Ojibwa canoe and a large mural, which spans across two interior walls. The outdoor space features a community butterfly garden, donated by Knutson Construction and built by Autumn Ridge landscaping.
"We see this new library as becoming a center piece for the Brooklyn Park community," said Lance Hornaday, Knutson Construction's General Manager. "The spaces, designed by HGA Architects and Engineers, are very unique and offer flexibility to ensure it's an exciting place to continue to visit for years to come. We are extremely proud of the way it has turned out and what it will offer the community."
In addition to Knutson Construction and HGA Architects and Engineers, the Hennepin County Library project team included: Hennepin County, the city of Brooklyn Park, Muska Plumbing, Architect Mechanical, Preferred Electric, Superior Painting, Stern Drywall, Sowles Steel Erectors, Twin City Acoustics, Becker Brothers Flooring, Autumn Ridge Landscaping, Bartley Sales (access flooring), Woodside Industries,Life Saver Fire Protection, and Landscape Architect Damon Farber Associates.