In 2013, a referendum called for the construction or renovation of 19 Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) buildings, including two new libraries in high growth areas and three replacement libraries. McMillan Pazdan Smith had previously worked with CCPL to author their building program and design guidelines and was a natural choice to design a new 20,000 SF library in the rapidly growing area of Bees Ferry.
The West Ashley Library is part of the development’s master plan which includes a new middle school and athletic fields. The contemporary design and combination of natural wood and industrial metal draws from its surrounding context framed by local schools, neighboring communities, and nearby wetlands.
The building is situated to capture beautiful north light through a curtain-wall window which spans the length of the northern façade. Between the high and low roofline is a string of clerestory windows allowing abundant natural daylight to fill the space from an elevated level. Divided into two main areas, the library’s open public space includes seating, stacks, and technology areas; and the core service areas house restrooms, staff areas, service spaces, meeting rooms, and groups study rooms.