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Middleburg Heights, Ohio

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A new community library sensitive to patrons with autism spectrum disorders

The new library serves as an anchor for the development of a bold new master plan for Middleburg Heights. The local mayor was very involved in the design review process because this new library is a benchmark for expressing the City’s vision for the architectural style of this development. By working closely with the City and Library, we were able to implement programs for a highly functional 21st century library within the unique constraints needed to pass City approvals. The prominent location of this new facility along a major road, supports the greater vision of both the City and CCPL.

The Middleburg Heights community currently has the largest population of people living with autism in CCPL’s service area. Our team worked with a consultant to develop a design, layout and color palette that are sympathetic to those with autism and how they experience the world around them. The Children’s Area also features interactive elements that support early literacy development and motor skills for autistic children. The soaring central volume of the library serves as a dramatic focal point for the building. An open floor plan is laid out with a hierarchy of spaces for natural sound mitigation as you move through the building. There is a connection from the Children’s Area to the adjacent park to take advantage of the outdoor space for programming opportunities.

This library also incorporates intuitive technology for both staff and patrons that is not always immediately visible such as staff use of Surface Pro tablets instead of being tethered to desktop computers. Additional features include: a drive-up service window and book drop, self-service café space with seating, a mobile gaming station for the Teen Area, Storytime Room, Fireplace reading area, and a vast array of outlets expanding access to power for patrons.


HBM │ Design Architect, Interior Designer, Architect of Record


16,000 SF

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