MCPL Colbern Road

Evolving the role of the 21st century library

After completing a strategic analysis of the entire library system, Mid-Continent Public Library (MCPL) identified a number of ways in which it could offer its patron a more robust and modern experience. A key component of this was evolving the traditional idea of a public library and creating a coworking destination that will be a hub for entrepreneurs and small business. The Colbern Road Library Center serves as the headquarters for MCPL’s SquareOne Small Business Division, providing free services to support start-ups, cultivate economic empowerment, and offer bootcamps and educational courses to grow businesses. 

 

The building itself represents an idea to be shared, with the geometric scrim wall mimicking the unfolding of a paper airplane.

The design of the modern library grabs the attention of passersby thanks to its dynamic scrim wall and prominent location on a major thoroughfare in Lee’s Summit. The building itself represents an idea to be shared, with the geometric scrim wall mimicking the unfolding of a paper airplane. The paper airplane motif is carried through the interior details. A colorful trail of paper airplanes will serve as a core wayfinding element, guiding patrons to key areas within the library and creating opportunities for spontaneous connection.

As a hybrid library and workplace, progressive tenets of workplace design are incorporated in the interiors. Patrons have the option to work where and how they prefer, including at a coffee shop which has become a casual meeting and work environment. Even children and youth participate in the coworking dynamic. The kids space offers an area to work together, as well as a storytime destination.

Essential library functions still remain at the Colbern Road Library Center. It can accommodate an automated material handling book drop system to assist in the branch-wide circulation of materials.

The Colbern Road Library Center was designed in collaboration with SAPP and Helix who worked closely with Construction Manager, JE Dunn Construction.

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