This new library and senior center is a stunning focal point in Elkridge, Maryland. Set among mature trees, the building invites community members of all ages and mobilities to a center for socializing, reading and learning. Among the many unique features is a Do-It-Yourself Education Center, with a collection of items available for check-out, including garden and power tools, culinary equipment, sewing supplies and bicycle repair accessories.
The innovative character of the building and its programming extends into the campus. Despite its location on busy Route 1, the site’s naturalizing elements offered an opportunity to create an oasis among native plants and trees. A long boardwalk winds through an existing forest, following the edge of a man-made pond rimmed with masses of indigenous plants. The boardwalk serves as a nature trail and an ADA compliant route to the facility.
The building’s orientation and use of glass and natural light provide opportunities for strong indoor-outdoor relationships. Visitors can experience the natural setting outside in multiple sitting areas and terraces, or from a cozy spot indoors next to the fireplace.
Sustainable site elements include lushly planted bioretention areas, pervious pavement systems that filter toxins from parking lot run-off, and a diverse plant palette designed to support hundreds of local wildlife species.