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Covington Branch Addition and Renovation


Shared By

Chelsea Blahut, Hanley Wood LLC

Project Name

Covington Branch Addition and Renovation

Project Status


Year Completed



64,700 sq. feet


Kenton County Public Library

Project Description


The Kenton County Public Library Covington Branch addition and renovation project was an opportunity to transform an existing 52,000-square-foot, 1970s building, lacking natural light and clear connections with the surrounding community, into a new 64,700-square-foot civic hub in downtown Covington, Kentucky. There were three primary objectives while working with a tight site and complex topography that allowed only limited additional square footage.
First, the library sought to establish a renewed urban presence, outwardly focused and inviting to the public. A new clear atrium visually connects both interior to exterior and all three floors of the building, while a dramatic zinc skin wraps the structure. This skin acts as a shading device, delineating exterior space for children’s programming, and gives the library a prominent and memorable new identity.
Second, the library was reconnected to the outdoors. A large new clerestory brings much-needed light into the interior of the main level reading and study area, and an under-used garden was lowered and repurposed to allow connection from the renovated lower level directly to the outdoors, creating new outdoor “storytime” spaces and a staff member retreat.
Finally, the library was completely reprogrammed and rearranged to meet the dynamic requirements of the modern library. As an example, a drive-up book drop opening directly into staff work areas was accommodated despite the challenging topography and numerous site constraints.
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