David Chipperfield Architects has completed its design for a new public library for the US city of Des Moines in Iowa.
The $24 million (£14 million) library is a key element in a masterplan for the west of the city that sees the creation of a new park modelled on New York's Central Park. Chipperfield's twostorey,14,000m 2 building will provide an entrance to the new green space, linking it with downtown Des Moines.
The building's facade is made up of storey-high, triple-glazed panels that incorporate a layer of expanded copper mesh to give solar protection while still allowing views of the park. The library will store historical documents as well as books and periodicals, and will act as a community centre housing classrooms and activity areas for children and young people.
Chipperfield - which won the job through competition, beating, among others, Michael Graves & Associates and Rafael Viñoly Architects - is working with local architect Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck. The two are already collaborating on another building in Iowa, the Davenport Museum of Art.
Des Moines has a strong architectural heritage, boasting buildings by Eliel and Eero Saarinen, Mies van der Rohe, I M Pei and Richard Meier. The project is due to begin on site in the summer with completion scheduled for October 2005.