Seven stories high, the library complex throws together retail, offices, an art gallery, a coffee bar, a park and a Purple Line stop, with some books thrown in for good measure.
With 65,000 square feet of space used by the public, the new library at Wayne Avenue and Fenton Street would be the largest in the county and have an expected 1,125,000 users, based on the number of visitors to the smaller Rockville and Germantown libraries. It'll also include 10,000 square feet of offices for the county's Department of Health and Human Services and 22,000 square feet of retail. A second building, to be completed by private developers later, will contain 120,000 square feet of apartments and an additional 15,000 square feet of retail.
The library's layout, as described by Evans, Lukmire and Scheuerman, will look like this:
The ground floor will contain a public park between Fenton Street and the future Purple Line station, which will be built and programmed as a plaza before the transitway is completed. A drop-off point will be located on an alley just off Wayne Avenue. Inside, there are lobbies on Wayne Avenue and Fenton Street, an art gallery, and a coffee bar, dubbed "The Book Stops Here" on plans.
Specific details for the second floor have yet to be finalized, but there's been previous discussion that it will contain studios for local artists.
The library itself begins on the third floor, with a grand staircase leading up from Fenton Street. This floor will have a circulation desk and young adult books, though there have been hints of a teen area as well.
On the fourth floor, there will be adult books, group and quiet study areas, and a computer lab.
The fifth floor will be devoted primarily to children's books, with a reading area and a roof garden facing Fenton Street.
The Department of Health and Human Services will have offices on the sixth floor, with space for health initiatives targeted at the black, Latino, and Asian American communities. There will also be common conference and copy rooms shared with library staff.
Finally, the seventh floor will contain meeting rooms available to the public, opening onto a terrace wrapping three sides of the building with views of Wayne Avenue, Fenton Street and Bonifant Street.
Check out this slideshow of images from the Silver Spring Library, including exterior renderings, interior renderings and selected floor plans. For more images and information, visit the Department of General Services' web page for the project.