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The San Francisco library has a green roof and LEED gold status Urban Planning

When Hacker Architects redesigned a historic branch library in San Francisco’s southeast Bayview district in 2013, the company wanted to ensure that the building continued to serve as an educational and community space for the region. As such, additional sustainability measures have been included to support the library’s environmental goals, but also to act as a teaching tool for the community.

Bus drives past a wooden library with several windows

The library replaced an original building on the same site and features green design elements such as solar panels and a lush green roof that has received LEED Gold certification. Despite its modern, sustainable technologies, the project honors its history and celebrates local culture and community in its design.

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On the left, people walk into a wooden library. On the right the green roof of a library building.
People sitting on wooden bench outside a wooden library

In the middle of the library, an interior courtyard provides natural ventilation and light, while visitors enjoy views of an urban garden. Floor-to-ceiling windows let daylight deeper into the building. The green roof of the library is also visible from the inside. The vegetation, mainly native grasses and perennials, on the roof filters out the rainwater, while the electricity on site is generated by solar panels. In addition, a natural ventilation system inside ensures a pleasant temperature throughout the interior.

Reception in a bright library with glass walls
Groups of people at tables in a library

The 9,000-square-meter library was renamed in 2015 to commemorate Linda Brooks-Burton, who served as the branch’s primary librarian from 1995 to 2011, the Bayview Footprints Network of Community Building Groups in 2007 and 2008. Brooks-Burton passed away unexpectedly in 2013, just a few months after the library was rebuilt.

Beige sofas near glass wall
Tree grows in the middle of a yard

The building received the Sustainability Award from the American Institute of Architects in San Francisco (Portland, Oregon) in 2013 and was recognized by the Library Journal as the New Landmark Library. Karin Payson Architecture and Design (KPa + d) was awarded the Kirby Ward Fitzpatrick Prize by the San Francisco Architectural Foundation for her role as an associated architect and interior designer for the project.

+ Hacker Architects

Photography by Bruce Damonte about Hacker Architects

Solar panels on a roof

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