The Sewell Mill Library and Cultural Arts Center
Cobb County Public Library System
The 300 seat amphitheater provides an intimate venue for local musicians, movie nights and a variety of community groups. The special white surface, behind the quartet, was design specifically for projections of movies.
Combining the warmth of a community public library with the ambitions of a state-of-the-art center for cultural arts, the 31,000-square-foot facility creates a place of civic importance and social engagement—one that prompts intellectual curiosity and creativity, while reinforcing a local identity.
20,000 SF Library with
11,000 SF Cultural Center
31,000 SF Total
Construction Management at Risk
$2.0 million State of GA
With $ remaining SPLOST
Featured in Library Journal’s
November 2019 “The Year in Architecture” Issue.
Embracing the Landscape
The arrival to the building is marked by entry into an exterior room. Scaled to support events that spill over from the adjacent amphitheater, the interweaving of the plaza, sculpture lawn, amphitheater and park creates new opportunities for outdoor public events.
The structure was conceived as a series of programmed volumes (form) with fluid spaces between zones of activities (space) between. Plan, massing, and spatial decisions were driven by the dense program and complex equipment requirements.
Drawing inspiration (sketch below) from the ideologies of artist-architect Frederick Kiesler’s commission City in Space, a soaring connecting lobby is composed of carefully stacked intersecting cubic forms. The processional stripe can be seen passing up, onto and over the concierge desk.
“As a true embodiment of a ‘modern library,’ the Sewell Mill Library and Cultural Center has staked its claim as a hub of ‘knowledge, diversity, art, and technology,’ a combined 31,000 square feet with a Maker space, a black box theater, and a green screen video production studio.”
Beyond providing traditional library services
The Center includes an art gallery, a café, classrooms, a black box theater and outdoor amphitheater. Programs range from the simplest of crafts to the finest of fine arts; creative writing workshops, painting classes, jewelry making classes and sculpture classes are just a few examples of the ways that the new center offers a wealth of opportunities to explore and understand art.
An entry lobby provides a gathering place for the black box theater with a concierge desk and café. Situated directly outside the entry to the library, the space provides opportunities for social engagement and interaction.
“Wow! Awesome! And, we could go on describing the work you did for us! After you left, we sat around the table grinning like little kids on a special day! Thank you just does not seem to be enough to describe how appreciative we are that you captured our ideas/visions so well!”
Helen Poyer, Executive Director Cobb County Public Library System
While it is now true that information can be accessed from anywhere, being in a great space, amongst your fellow citizens remains essential.
Buzzing with activity for everyone and anyone to come together intereact, collaborate and connect, patrons relax and linger, enjoying conversation and solitary reading in the vibrant cafe.
Libraries provide an opportunity to reflect and enhance their local community. An art gallery allows community space to display local artists, exhibits and children’s art.
Being surrounded by actively productive people is a powerful motivator. Those sitting alone in a crowd are still participating in a community of quiet people, while working head-down with focused concentration.
Learn. Make. Succeed.
Today’s libraries are being transformed. They are becoming places of transformation turning consumers into producers, passions into careers and voices into actions.
The possibilities are endless in the Creation Studio. Intellectual curiosity is fused with technological tools offering professional instruments and software to edit and produce music along with a green screen room for making video. Showcasing a wide array of new technologies, but also featuring co-working areas, the studio is flexible to accomodate new equipment and evolving uses.
Black Box Theater
The black box theater is home to a local theatrical company, hosts open mic nights and shows monthly movies.
Today’s library embraces our society’s accelerating change. Core services remain, but the library has evolved into a place for lifelong discovery, inspiration and creation.
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