The Ramona Library embraces an architecture incorporating Mission Revival planning, southwest adobe architecture and Tuscan details and colors. The 20,000 SF Library includes a Community Room, a Great Room with children, teen and adult areas, administration space, and Friends of the Ramona Library. The library is oriented along Main Street, reinforcing the street front and presenting a strong civic presence. Vertical elements clock tower, fireplace chimney, book drop tower recall Tuscan hill towns. Two entries, clad in ochre stone and crowned by an arched window, form the core of the library and meld modern library concepts with learning museum ideas. The entry is approached through a Mediterranean courtyard with a reflecting pool. The vaulted lobby recalls Tuscan hall and is furnished with a modern bookstore.
Access to the Friends of the Library space is from the street side via a sliding glass door as used in museum gift shops. Natural light fills the volume via clerestory windows.
The Childrens Area engages younger patrons in Ramonas past. The Special Environment, a circular glass enclosure, offers security and transparency and includes an interactive, vegetable garden alluding to the local agricultural legacy. The Family Homework Center and Teen Area are separated by a curved glass wall creating specific environments for each group age.
The Adult area, located under a sweeping, arched vault, reinforces the architecture and offering a quiet, background conducive to reading and studying. On the southwest side, the area opens onto a private patio as an alternative reading space. A large conference/seminar area is located on the south wall, providing space for meetings. An intimate space containing a stone-clad fireplace offers patrons relaxed reading in a club like atmosphere.
The facility minimizes negative environmental impact and exceeds LEED Gold designation. Site planning generated an East-West building orientation, maximizing indirect daylight from the North and South. The louvered clerestories allow controlled natural light. The louvers screen and diffuse the direct sunlight. All spaces were provided with occupancy sensors, and areas with windows were provided with daylighting photocells. The buildings energy performance is 10 better than baseline standards.
Alternative Energy Sources
Three photovoltaic PV arrays, totaling more than 5,000 SF, qualified the facility for Californias Solar Initiative; the energy generated offsets over 15 the electrical consumption. The systems are mounted to the curved roof above the Community Room and the flat roofs over the Adult Areas. Its visibility is an important addition to the sustainable systems educational program, which includes a screen mounted in the lobby displaying building energy consumption versus the energy produced by the photovoltaic systems.
The landscape incorporates sustainable landscape that meets LEED objectives. Native plants and colorful species adaptive to the Ramona climate were emphasized. Planting reduced the water, fertilizer and maintenance needed to sustain the landscaping. A highly efficient irrigation system featuring a smart controller adjusts watering based on real-time weather conditions. The planting plan for the site features native Oak trees, Sycamore, and Palo Verde along with other shade and accent trees.