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Louisville Free Public Library Southwest Regional Library (SWRL)

MSR (Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle)

Shared By

emilybartz, MSR Design

Project Name

Louisville Free Public Library Southwest Regional Library (SWRL)


9725 Dixie Hwy


Project Status


Year Completed



40,000 sq. feet

Construction Cost



Louisville Free Public Library


  • MSR, Architect: Matt Kruntorad, AIA
  • Jeffery Scherer, FAIA
  • Amanda Aspenson, AIA
  • Engy Michael
  • Justin Martinez
  • Nuno Cruz
  • Sam Edelstein, AIA
  • Steven Rothe
  • JRA, Architect: Colin Drake, AIA
  • Marty Merkel, AIA


  • : Kerr-Greulich Engineers
  • Structural Engineer: Tetra Tech
  • Landscape Architect: MKSK Studios
  • Construction Manager: Sullivan Cozart

Certifications and Designations


Room or Space



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Project Description

Located in southwest Louisville, this new regional library--designed in collaboration by JRA Architects and MSR Design--is the first of three new regional libraries the library system has planned. It serves as a template for the other regional libraries in terms of programmatic elements and building systems. The construction artfully employs a clear span structural steel frame similar to those used in big box retail stores. The design engages the use of common materials in creative ways and highlights active and passive library spaces with daylight harvesting strategies that energize the materials and colors. Standardized components—including flat lock metal panels, window systems, and raised flooring with recycled rubber—form a low maintenance, highly flexible public place that favors natural daylight over artificial lighting. The client’s main goals were to provide a community-gathering place that would appeal to all ages and foster interactivity in an open layout that encourages 21st-century active learning and offers flexibility to meet future needs. Through efficiencies in both planning and construction, the library features a consolidated layout for back-of-house operations in order to devote a higher percentage of floor space to the open public side. Through scale and a glowing beacon bay, the building establishes a presence in a fragmented environment of scattered drive-through businesses and commercial strips along Dixie Highway. Its structure and form take advantage of multiple solar orientations for dynamic daylight harvesting to create daily change within the library. The site design features managed stormwater, which infiltrates the runoff from the building and site, as well as adjacent sites that were designed to push water off-site instead of managing it. The transparent interior offers inviting spaces for different generations of people to experience and clear site lines for service efficiency and enhanced librarian/public interaction. Folded from ten feet to twenty-five feet, the ceiling controls acoustics between youth and adult areas, while keeping the space open. Thirty-five-foot tall light towers reflect daylight and color as they serve to delineate the children’s, teens’, and adult services areas and enhance wayfinding.
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