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Big Box Library – McAllen Texas Main Library Housed in an Abandoned Wal-Mart Building

Mayer, Scherer, and Rockcastle, Limited in conjunction with Boultinghouse Simpson Architects has taken the Best Overall Design category in the ALA/IIDA Library Interior Design Awards for giving us the new Main Library of McAllen, Texas.  This team took an abandoned and dinghy Wal-Mart supercenter, and created a bright and inspiring space in which the public can gather to learn and enjoy.  The shell, shown in the last photo, is as large as two-and-a-half football fields, making this the largest single story library in the country.  As these photographs show, the design is both functional and beautiful.  The layout is sensible and friendly.  Two main corridors form a plus sign in the rectangular building, splitting it into four distinct areas.  These quadrants house the adult books, children’s books, public meeting rooms, and staff areas.  The designers finished this off with a separate, semi-private area just for teens.

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