Traverwood Branch

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3333 Traverwood Drive (at Huron Parkway) - Google Maps
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
(734) 327-4200


Opened in June 2008, the Traverwood Branch serves as a community-based learning center that delivers superior customer service, primarily to the residents of the northeast quadrant of Ann Arbor. Both the building and the surrounding landscape capitalize on environmental principles, thereby allowing the overall project to operate more in harmony with the ecosystem and the community in which it serves.

The Traverwood Branch Library is situated on 4.34 acres located in the southwest corner of Traverwood Drive and Huron Parkway in Ann Arbor. The Branch is a one-story building of approximately 16,500 square feet. It replaced the Northeast Branch of AADL, located in Plymouth Mall, which was no longer adequate to meet the needs of the community. In 2009, the Traverwood Branch won the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Michigan Building Design Award for its innovative design.

Read more about the Traverwood Branch and the documentary made about the construction of Traverwood titled, "Up From The Ashes" or visit our image gallery to see photos and drawings of the building.

Resources

The Branch houses an updated collection, consisting of traditional materials, such as books, magazines, and DVDs. Electronic resources include 24 computer terminals, 20 of which are located in an Electronic Training classroom, a laptop computer station with seating for nine people, and wireless internet access throughout the building. Along with the more traditional picture and chapter books, the Traverwood Youth and Young Adult section features a sizable collection of Teen graphic novels, youth magazines and a group of Youth computer stations.

Spaces

While its primary mission is to deliver traditional library services, the Branch also serves as a true community center. This facility includes a quiet and comfortable reading area complete with fireplace that houses the branch's magazines and newspapers. Traverwood also features a vending area, a program room for groups of up to 60 people and four study and tutor rooms. For more information about how to rent the program room please visit the Room Rental Page.

Natural Beauty

The Traverwood Branch is unique for its green construction and the natural beauty in its design. Both the building and the surrounding landscape capitalize on environmental principles, thereby allowing the overall project to operate more in harmony with the ecosystem and the community in which it serves. The building’s site, a triangular portion of land at the intersection of Traverwood Drive and Huron Parkway, runs along the Stapp Nature Preserve at its rear. A rain garden is located on the south side of the building. The design of the Branch takes advantage of natural day lighting.

The ash trees that were removed from the site were incorporated in the Building's design, used in the flooring and shelving for the Traverwood Branch. A few of the trees were left intact and used as support beams along a row of windows on the south wing of the building to dramatic effect. The trunks interact beautifully with the uninterrupted expanse of green trees behind the building.


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Downtown Library Project

Downtown LibraryDowntown Library

By the 1940s, the need for a new Downtown Library to replace the Carnegie-funded structure on Huron Street and State Street had become apparent. Years of study led to the selection of the site at the corner of South Fifth Avenue and William Street for this new library, which opened it doors on October 13, 1957. By the early 1970s this building itself had become insufficient to meet the needs of a growing library system (which by then had also constructed the Loving Branch, precursor to the Malletts Creek Branch). An expansion doubling the size of the 1957 building was completed in 1974. A third addition was completed in 1991, adding the 3rd and 4th floors and again doubling the size of the library, in order to meet the needs of a growing collection size, rising circulation numbers, and increased programming offerings.

In 2007, AADL hired PROVIDENCE Associates LLC to undertake a study assessing the 20-year feasibility of the Downtown Library. This study included 10 focus groups with more than 100 users of the AADL and sought to determine the needs of the library as its needs and offerings to the community continue to grow. The findings of this study led the AADL Board to issue a Request for Qualifications for Architectural and Engineering Services that eventually resulted in the selection of Luckenbach|Ziegelman Architects, PLLC of Ann Arbor. Skanska was hired as the construction firm who would undertake the project in whatever form it would eventually take.

At the same time as the development of the concept for the Downtown Library, the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority created a plan to replace the parking lot on the north side of the Library with an underground parking garage. This led the two organizations to develop a joint survey asking for feedback on both the Downtown Library and parking. The results of this survey will help guide the AADL and Lukenbach|Ziegelman Architects as plans for the Downtown Library develop.

In November 2008, the Library Board voted to suspend the Downtown Library Project as a result of the economic downturn.

2007 Providence Report on the Twenty-Year Feasibility of the Downtown Library
2008 AADL Downtown Branch Renovation and South Fifth Avenue Underground Parking Survey
2008 Skanska Cost Estimates for Renovation and New Building

Pittsfield Branch

Pittsfield Branch Library

Opened March 20, 2006

Architects: Luckenbach | Ziegelman Architects, PLLC
Construction Manager: Skanska USA Building, Inc.
Landscape Architects: InSite Design Studio, Inc.

The Pittsfield Branch is an example of sustainable design. Both the building itself and the surrounding landscape capitalize on environmental principles, thereby allowing the overall project to operate more in harmony with the ecosystem and the community in which it serves. The building incorporates solar heating, natural daylighting, convection cooling, and materials which are from renewable resources and ultimately recyclable. The Library site encompasses principles such as naturally capturing and filtering stormwater and implementing native plants and grasses.

Environmental Considerations:

1. Relationship to Site

The main space of the library faces south to capture the maximum heating benefit from the winter sun and maximum daylight throughout the year. The south wall is designed to admit maximum solar radiation in the winter but to block direct sun in the summer, admitting primarily indirect and reflected light. The north and west sides, those most exposed to winter winds, are service spaces and have minimal windows.

2. Building Cross-section

The high, arching ceiling combined with the roof monitor serves to reinforce the natural tendency of warm air to rise, thus facilitating convective cooling. In the summer, air in the monitor is heated by the sun and is allowed to escape through operating windows on the north side. It is replaced by cooler air entering near the floor on the south side and, to a lesser extent, air entering from under the eave on the north. In the winter, with the windows closed, the heated air in the monitor is pushed down by ceiling fans. Overhangs block the high angle summer sun but admit the lower angle winter sun.

3. Recycled Content Material

By way of example, the roof and much of the sidewalls are clad with pre-finished steel, made primarily from recycled material. The pre-finishing is with a low VOC content resin. The window frames are fabricated from recycled aluminum, and the carpet is woven with 50% recycled content yarn. The cellulose wall insulation consists of 90% recycled material, and the drywall will be a minimum 50% recycled content.

4. Low Energy Content Material

The masonry for this building is burnished concrete masonry units rather than brick. Not only is far less energy consumed in the manufacture of these units than is required for brick, but they are manufactured less than 50 miles from Ann Arbor and, therefore, a relatively small amount of energy is consumed in their transportation to the site.

5. Materials from Renewable Resources

Wood for construction and for the fabrication of furnishings is from managed forests rather than from old-growth forest trees. For example, cork flooring is made from the bark of the cork tree, which is removed without damaging the tree and subsequently re-grows.

6. Coordinated and Efficient Lighting

The artificial lighting system is automatically monitored so that it is turned on only when the day lighting is insufficient for comfortable reading. If the day lighting level rises, the lights automatically shut off. A built-in time delay prevents frequent cycling on and off. The light fixtures utilize highly efficient T5Ho lamps with electronic ballasts, and limited accent lighting is low-voltage halogen.

7. Air Quality Management

Most commercial buildings operate with a constant quantity of outside air taken in by the mechanical system whether needed or not for health and/or comfort reasons. The Branch has sensitive air quality monitoring devices that modulate the air intake so that the only outside air that is heated or cooled is what is actually required at any given time.

8. Construction Practices

During construction, wood, plastic, and metal waste was separated so that it was recycled, thereby diverting at least 50% of the usual construction waste from the landfill.

Natural Features Enhancement and Management Program

The restoration and management areas include the existing watercourse, Malletts Creek, and wetland. Restoration of these areas involves selective planting of species native to Southeast Michigan that are more appropriate and better adapted to the site than non-native species. This diverse array of native plant material also functions as wildlife food and shelter, and to attract pollinators to the area. Initial and long-term maintenance is performed on this site to preserve the quality of the native plant systems and to assess their impact on the watercourse and wetland.

Pittsfield Branch Image Gallery

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Malletts Creek Branch

 

Malletts Creek Exterior

  • The Land
  • Building and Landscaping Plans
  • Ground Breaking Ceremony

The Malletts Creek Branch is an example of sustainable design. Both the building itself and the surrounding landscape capitalize on environmental principles, thereby allowing the overall project to operate more in harmony with the ecosystem and the community in which it serves. The building incorporates solar heating, natural daylighting, convection cooling, and materials which are from renewable resources and ultimately recyclable. The Library site encompasses principles such as naturally capturing and filtering stormwater and implementing native plants and grasses.

Malletts Creek Branch - NEWS RELEASE

August 14, 2003

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT LIBRARY RECEIVES $236,006 FEDERAL GRANT FROM THE UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

Grant Will Provide Funding For An Innovative Storm Water System
For New Branch Library

The Ann Arbor District Library has has been awarded a $236,006 grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). The grant was awarded for the project Ann Arbor District Library: Innovative Storm Water System, which is a natural-systems approach to storm water management that will be utilized at the Library’s new Malletts Creek Branch.

Malletts Creek Branch

Malletts Creek Branch

Opened January 10, 2004

Architects: Luckenbach | Ziegelman Architects, PLLC
Construction Manager: Skanska USA Building, Inc.
Landscape Architects: InSite Design Studio, Inc.

The Malletts Creek Branch is an example of sustainable design. Both the building itself and the surrounding landscape capitalize on environmental principles, thereby allowing the overall project to operate more in harmony with the ecosystem and the community in which it serves. The building incorporates solar heating, natural daylighting, convection cooling, and materials which are from renewable resources and ultimately recyclable. The Library site encompasses principles such as naturally capturing and filtering stormwater and implementing native plants and grasses. The Malletts Creek Branch was awarded the 2005 American Institute of Architects Michigan (AIA Michigan) Award for Sustainable Design.

The Library building design integrates many passive sustainable systems in order to minimize dependency on mechanical systems and to maximize the amount of ‘free’ and clean energy that can be harnessed from the environment. One way this is accomplished is through the large amount of south-facing glazing on the back face of the building. Coupled with sunshading devices, the glazing allows direct low-angle winter sunlight inside to naturally warm the building (reducing the amount of mechanical heat), and block direct high-angle summer sunlight to avoid overheating the interior space (reducing the load on air-conditioning.) Along the southern face, three zones of greenhouse space capture warmed air from the sun, distributing the air inside the Library during cold seasons and exhausting the air during warm seasons. Four ventilating roof monitors with glazing on the northern and southern sides of the Library have been placed along the central ridge of the building. These monitors, coupled with the glazing on the north and south facades, supply ample natural daylighting, thereby significantly reducing the amount of artificial light needed for the interior. Operable windows located along the floor on both the front and the back of the building are opened automatically during warm seasons to provide natural ventilation as well as convective cooling, reducing dependence on air-conditioning. Finally, material selection was determined by recyclability and sustainability, with an emphasis on renewable resources, and the processes used in material manufacturing.

The Malletts Creek Branch site is designed to naturally capture and filter storm water that falls on impervious surfaces, such as drives and parking areas. This filtering is accomplished through ‘bioswales’ that have been placed adjacent to the parking area. These bioswales are vegetated zones that are planted with species that capture and cleanse the water prior to soaking into the ground. This reduces both the burden on the storm water drain system and the amount of contaminants in the water. Additionally, the landscaping of the Library site is embellished with native plants and grasses. The use of native species limits the landscaping to varieties that are able to withstand climate extremes for this region, thereby eliminating the need for chemical fertilizer or constant watering during dry spells. A portion of the grasses along the back edge of the site need only to be trimmed once a year, significantly reducing the amount of mowing, and establishing a thriving habitat for wildlife.

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Malletts Creek Branch

MalletsMallets

3090 E. Eisenhower Parkway (east of Stone School Road) - Google Maps
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
(734) 327-4200


Opened in January 2004, the Malletts Creek Branch replaced the Loving Branch and is a unique model of sustainable design featuring solar heating, natural day lighting, a vegetated green roof, convection cooling, naturally captured and filtered storm water, native plants and grasses, and many uses of materials that are renewable resources. The Malletts Creek Branch was awarded the 2005 American Institute of Architects Michigan (AIA Michigan) Award for Sustainable Design.

The Malletts Creek Branch is a one-story building of approximately 14,000 square feet that serves as a community-based learning center that delivers superior customer service, primarily to the residents of the southeast quadrant of Ann Arbor. The building and the surrounding landscape capitalize on environmental principles, thereby allowing the overall project to operate more in harmony with the ecosystem and the community in which it serves.

Read more about the Mallets Creek Branch or visit our image gallery to see photos and drawings of the building.

Resources

The Branch houses an updated collection, consisting of traditional materials, such as books, magazines, and DVDs. Electronic resources include 28 computer terminals, 18 of which are located in an Electronic Training classroom, and wireless internet access throughout the building. Along with the more traditional picture and chapter books, the Mallets Creek Youth and Young Adult section features a sizable collection of Teen graphic novels, youth magazines and a group of Youth computer stations.

Spaces

While its primary mission is to deliver traditional library services, the Branch also serves as a true community center. This facility includes a quiet and comfortable reading area complete with fireplace that houses the branch's magazines and newspapers. Mallets Creek also features a vending area with seating for 20 people, a program room for groups of up to 120 people, three study and tutor rooms and a children's play area. For more information about how to rent the program room please visit the Room Rental Page.

Lockers

Now your items can be ready for pickup whenever you are. Held items available for pickup at the Malletts Creek Branch can be placed in lockers for after hours pickup. Simply follow the link in your hold notice email or at the bottom of your Requests and Holds list on the My Account page. Items will be placed in lockers outside of the building and will remain available for pickup there until the open of the library the next day.


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Traverwood Branch

Opened June 30, 2008

Google Maps

Architects: Van Tine|Guthrie Studio
Construction Manager: O’Neal Construction, Inc.
Landscape Architects: Grissim Metz Andriese Associates

Watch "Up From Ashes", a documentary film about the making of the Traverwood Branch Library.

Go to the page for this video to get downloadable and high-quality versions.


About the Traverwood Branch Library

The Traverwood Branch Library is situated on 4.34 acres located in the southwest corner of Traverwood Drive and Huron Parkway in Ann Arbor. The Branch is a one-story building of approximately 16,500 square feet which replaced the Northeast Branch of AADL, located in Plymouth Mall. It opened June 30, 2008.

The Traverwood Branch serves as a community-based learning center that delivers superior customer service, primarily to the residents of the northeast quadrant of Ann Arbor. While its mission is to deliver traditional library services, the facility also includes a casual study area with seating for 14 and vending, a laptop computer bar with seating for nine, and a meeting room with seating for 90.

The Branch houses an updated collection, consisting of traditional materials, such as books, magazines, and DVDs. The facility contains a reading room for comfortable, leisurely reading, four study and tutor rooms, and self-service stations for convenient checkout. Electronic resources include 24 public computer terminals, 20 of are located in an Electronic Training classroom, and wireless internet access.

The Traverwood Branch is designed to have as little impact on natural landscape features as possible. Sustainable design features include an innovative stormwater management system and the reuse of harvested ash trees from the building site. A rain garden is located on the south side of the building. The design of the Branch takes advantage of natural day lighting.

Both the building and the surrounding landscape capitalize on environmental principles, thereby allowing the overall project to operate more in harmony with the ecosystem and the community in which it serves.

The L-shaped design of the building is echoed throughout its design and construction with the repeated use of angles, which presented both architectural opportunities and challenges. Far from rigid rectilinear symmetry, the building suggests geometric playfulness and curiosity about the interaction between line and three-dimensional form. The simple act of pouring concrete was complicated by the unusual design, and the woodwork, composed of Ash milled from trees on the site, defies the imagination, spreading up from the floor across a portion of the building’s walls and even curving along a wavy expanse in precisely cut concentric pieces.

Several years ago an invasive species of beetle began making its home on the Ash trees of Southeastern Michigan. While the adult Emerald Ash Borer munched innocuously on the trees’ deciduous leaves, its larvae attacked the inner bark, making fascinating but harmful trails along the trunk, destroying the trees’ ability to distribute nutrients. The Emerald Ash Borer proved unstoppable, killing more than 30 million ash trees in southeastern Michigan alone. The results are clearly visible on the Northeast side of town; sunlight streams down into forests where trees once stood and bugs and other animals have begun making their homes in the fallen logs strewn throughout wooded areas.

During the initial investigation of the Traverwood site, the area was found to contain many Ash trees. AADL applied for and received a $30,000 grant from the Southeast Michigan Resource Conservation & Development Council to remove and incorporate the trees in the new building’s construction, harkening back to a time when building materials of necessity came from the surrounding area. Echoing this shift in time, draft horses were brought in to remove the trees from the site, eliminating the need to damage or fall nearby trees in the removal process. This unusual method was featured on Michigan Radio’s Environment Report in March of 2007. Following their removal from the site, AADL contracted Johnson Hardwoods to mill the trees for use in flooring and shelving for the Traverwood Branch. A few of the trees were left intact and used as support beams along a row of windows on the south wing of the building to dramatic effect. The trunks interact beautifully with the uninterrupted expanse of green trees behind the building, and visitors can inspect the Emerald Ash Borer’s damage curving over the surface of the beams.

“It is in the nature of any organic building to grow from within on its site: come out of the ground an organism into the light—the ground itself held always as a component part of the building itself…. A building dignified as a tree in the midst of Nature.”
Frank Lloyd Wright, Autobiography

The building’s site, a triangular portion of land at the intersection of Traverwood Drive and Huron Parkway, runs along the Stapp Nature Preserve at its rear. The unusual shape of the lot and the extensive wooded area dictated the shape of the building, which, in deference to the natural setting, hugs the corner in an L-shape. This led to an ingenious solution to an ongoing problem in public library design: creating a space that serves the entire community well. While some people come to the library for quiet study and research, others view it as a community gathering space or a place for children to explore. Public libraries are charged with being all of these things, and meeting the needs of many different people simultaneously presents a tremendous challenge. Traverwood, with its L-shape, meets this dilemma head-on. The library’s meeting room and children’s area occupy the western wing of the building, while the adult collection and quiet reading room spread along the south wing. The reading room in particular is acoustically remote from the children’s area. The building’s high ceilings and central entrance point maintain a sense of cohesion and connection between the two spaces.

Like all of AADL’s new buildings, Traverwood incorporates innovative features that minimize its impact on the environment. Beyond taking the striking natural landscape into consideration when planning the building, Traverwood has been designed to make sure the surrounding natural area is not harmfully impacted by its presence. Traverwood features an innovative stormwater management system that captures water flowing off the roof through the use of two scuppers or downspouts. On rainy days visitors will be able to watch the water cascading past as it makes its way into an underground system of pipes. The water is then held underground and gradually released into a retention pond at the south end of the site.

Traverwood’s playful 21st Century design stands in stark contrast to the Carnegie libraries built at the turn of the last century. At the corner of State and Huron in downtown Ann Arbor, the façade of the city’s own Carnegie library stands alone, moored by steel girders at the edge of a modern construction site. Its strong columns and arches reflect an architectural style of long ago, proclaiming the temple of knowledge they used to contain. Today’s modern public libraries no longer strive to emulate classical architecture. Yet, as Traverwood and AADL’s other recently completed branches, Malletts Creek (2004) and Pittsfield (2006), demonstrate, they still seek to carve an impressive silhouette. Rather than looking to the past, however, AADL’s new branches embrace the future. Welcoming and accessible, both literally and figuratively, they look forward to the future of libraries in their community, and in this way have taken on the important mission of educating the public about sustainable design and construction. Each of AADL’s new branches has been designed with sustainability in mind, incorporating green building technology throughout its construction.

The Library Branch Expansion Project

The vision of branch libraries for the Ann Arbor Library system began with former Library Director Homer Chance. Recognizing the need for access to materials and facilities beyond the Downtown Library, Chance opened the first branch library in Ann Arbor - the Loving Branch - in 1965. In 1977 the West Branch opened its doors and the Northeast Branch began serving the community in 1981.

In 1997, with a goal of providing superior public library services into the future, the Library embarked on a Facilities Need Analysis of the library system by consultant David Smith. His study found the three branch libraries severely lacking in square footage to meet current and future public needs.

Using data gathered in surveys, on-site interviews, and estimates of projected material collection sizes in the year 2020, Smith’s study called for the construction of several larger branch libraries to serve the long-term community needs. These would accommodate projected collection sizes and provide adequate meeting, event, storytime and teen spaces, as well as areas for growing technology and staff work areas.

Since 1997, the Library has been working toward the goal of creating these larger, more functional branches constructed within the Library’s current authorized millage.

  • In January 2004, the 14,000 square foot Malletts Creek Branch opened its doors on Eisenhower Parkway in Ann Arbor. This replacement for the 39-year-old Loving Branch features expanded program areas seating 80 people, a collection of over 47,000 items, a vending area with seats for 20 people and state-of-the-art technology, including 28 computer terminals and a computer training center. Since the opening of the Malletts Creek Branch, circulation and program attendance figures have skyrocketed and are a dramatic increase over those of the former Loving Branch.
  • In March 2006, the 14,600 square foot Pittsfield Branch of the Ann Arbor District Library was opened on Oak Valley Drive. This facility houses a program/meeting room which seats up to 100 individuals, a reading room, study areas and state-of-the-art technology. As a new new addition to the Ann Arbor District Library branch system, the Pittsfield Branch serves an ever-expanding population in a growing area of the Ann Arbor district.
  • This new branch on Traverwood Drive and Huron Parkway is the third step in the Library Branch Expansion Project.

Northeast Branch

The Northeast Branch was situated in the same location in the Plymouth Road Mall for approximately twenty-four years. During that time, in an effort to keep pace with the demand for services, the original space expanded twice and underwent a complete renovation in 2001. New carpeting, improved lighting, a renovated program and storytime room were added in an effort to make cosmetic changes until a site for a new branch could be located. Despite these expansions and renovations, the Northeast Branch lacked the space and service considerations outlined by David Smith’s 1997 study.

Traverwood Branch Image Gallery

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Pittsfield Branch

pittspitts

2359 Oak Valley Dr. - Google Maps
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
(734) 327-4200


Opened in March 2006, the Pittsfield Branch was designed to accommodate the needs of a library for a growing neighborhood while protecting the wetland on which it sits. The Pittsfield Branch is located on 5.74 acres of land on Oak Valley Drive in Pittsfield Township. It is a one-story building of approximately 14,600 square feet and is adjacent to the Ann Arbor Ice Cube arena.

The Branch serves as a community-based learning center that delivers superior customer service, primarily to the residents of the southwest quadrant of Ann Arbor and Pittsfield Township. The building and the surrounding landscape capitalize on environmental principles, thereby allowing the overall project to operate more in harmony with the ecosystem and the community in which it serves.

Read more about the Pittsfield Branch or visit our image gallery to see photos and drawings of the building.

Resources

The Branch houses an updated collection, consisting of traditional materials, such as books, magazines, and DVDs. Electronic resources include 28 public computer terminals, 18 of which are located in an Electronic Training classroom, and wireless internet access throughout the building. Along with the more traditional picture and chapter books, the Pittsfield Youth and Young Adult section features a sizable collection of Teen graphic novels, youth magazines and a group of Youth computer stations.

Spaces

While its primary mission is to deliver traditional library services, the Branch also serves as a true community center. This facility includes a quiet and comfortable reading area complete with fireplace that houses the branch's magazines and newspapers. Pittsfield also features a vending area with seating for 24 people, a program room for groups of up to 90 people, three study and tutor rooms, a children's play area, and exhibit space for local artists and organizations. For more information about how to rent the program room please visit the Room Rental Page.

Lockers

Now your items can be ready for pickup whenever you are. Held items available for pickup at the Pittsfield Branch can be placed in lockers for after hours pickup. Simply follow the link in your hold notice email or at the bottom of your Requests and Holds list on the My Account page. Items will be placed in lockers outside of the building and will remain available for pickup there until the open of the library the next day.


Please click here to send your comments.

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