South Mountain Community Library; Richärd+Bauer; Phoenix.
Bill Timmerman South Mountain Community Library; Richärd+Bauer; Phoenix.

Presented jointly by the AIA and the American Library Association, the biennial AIA/ALA Library Building Awards honor the best new U.S. library projects. The six recipients of the 2013 awards range from a satellite branch in an underserved Washington, D.C., neighborhood to a restoration of one of the nation’s finest Beaux-Arts buildings.
South Mountain Community Library; Richärd+Bauer; Phoenix.
Credit: Mark Boisclair Photography, Inc.

South Mountain Community Library; Richärd+Bauer; Phoenix.


The South Mountain Community Library, designed by Richärd+Bauer for Phoenix, offers shade and views of the surrounding mountains.

Anacostia Neighborhood Library; The Freelon Group; Washington, D.C.
Credit: Mark Herboth

Anacostia Neighborhood Library; The Freelon Group; Washington, D.C.


Anacostia Neighborhood Library; The Freelon Group; Washington, D.C.
Credit: Mark Herboth

Anacostia Neighborhood Library; The Freelon Group; Washington, D.C.


Another small library—the Anacostia Neighborhood Library

, designed by the Freelon Group for Washington, D.C.—serves as a hub of community and stimulus for a low-income neighborhood.

Oak Forest Neighborhood Library; NAAA + AWI + JRA; Houston
Credit: Luis Ayala

Oak Forest Neighborhood Library; NAAA + AWI + JRA; Houston


Oak Forest Neighborhood Library; NAAA + AWI + JRA; Houston
Credit: Luis Ayala

Oak Forest Neighborhood Library; NAAA + AWI + JRA; Houston


Two renovations received awards: The Oak Forest Neighborhood Library and the Cass Gilbert–designed St. Louis Central Library.

St. Louis Central Library renovation; Cannon Design; St. Louis
Credit: Timothy Hursley

St. Louis Central Library renovation; Cannon Design; St. Louis


St. Louis Central Library renovation; Cannon Design; St. Louis
Credit: Timothy Hursley

St. Louis Central Library renovation; Cannon Design; St. Louis


One award was given for innovation: Snøhetta trimmed the total area of the James B. Hunt Jr. Library by introducing an unprecedented automated book delivery system.

James B. Hunt Jr. Library; Snøhetta and Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee; Raleigh, N.C.
Credit: Mark Herboth

James B. Hunt Jr. Library; Snøhetta and Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee; Raleigh, N.C.


James B. Hunt Jr. Library; Snøhetta and Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee; Raleigh, N.C.
Credit: Mark Herboth

James B. Hunt Jr. Library; Snøhetta and Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee; Raleigh, N.C.


Rice+Lipka Architects, on the other hand, nabbed an award despite breaking the rules: The Hamilton Grange Teen Center features a niche for snacking and talking.

New York Public Library, Hamilton Grange Teen Center; Rice+Lipka Architects; New York City
Credit: Michael Moran

New York Public Library, Hamilton Grange Teen Center; Rice+Lipka Architects; New York City


New York Public Library, Hamilton Grange Teen Center; Rice+Lipka Architects; New York City
Credit: Michael Moran

New York Public Library, Hamilton Grange Teen Center; Rice+Lipka Architects; New York City


For more details and images of the 2013 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards, visit ARCHITECT's Project Gallery.