City of Phoenix Desert Broom Branch Library

Borrowing the symbiotic relationship of a young saguaro and nurse tree, the expansive roof of the Desert Broom Branch Library creates a shaded microclimate, providing daylight, shelter and a nurturing environment for intellectual growth.

The roof form extends 60’ out into the natural desert creating indoor/outdoor transitional space providing a seamless transition into the desert. These outdoor reading spaces are enclosed and shaded by a series of coiled metal screens, following the natural form of the adjacent arroyo, and are cooled by building relief air. The roof is penetrated by a series of openings allowing filtered light into the interior and exterior spaces. Each of the openings is treated with a fritted or colored glass creating an ever-changing series of colors and patterns throughout the space.

Within the framework of the roof a series of volumes contain the Meeting room, Utility core, Staff and Computer training areas. Above each of the primary service points within the building “Digital Information Cubes” display ever changing representations of digital information which can be seen from the exterior during the evening. The building is sheathed in weathering steel, recalling the rustic quality of the site. The entire library sits on an accessible flooring system permitting flexibility and changeability over time. The 15,000 square foot facility has been designed so that it may be easily reconfigured to expand to an ultimate size of 25,000 square feet.


Project Type


Phoenix, Arizona, United States

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