Municipal & Cultural

Grimes Public Library

Grimes, IA

The City of Grimes needed to accommodate a largely expanded public collection and desired to serve as a new community hub for the latest neighborhood additions. They commissioned INVISION to design a new public library, the first new building for this community in over 20 years. The building will become the new living room’ for the city — encouraging education, reading, play, and interaction for all ages. 

The ground level houses the children’s collection, staff areas and community meeting rooms. Overlooking these spaces is the teen mezzanine, a unique feature to give teens a place to call their own while still being visible. Adult collections are housed on the second floor. Connecting the three levels is an open lobby with wraparound stairs which offers multiple reading levels with sightlines into the collection areas as well as through the large lobby windows.

The material palette is simple yet rich in texture. Buff brick and split face limestone clad the one-story elements to ground the building in its place, while the two-story lobby and library collection areas are clad in mottled black metal panels and large curtainwall windows. Soaring above it all is an overhanging roof plane with wood soffits to add some warmth to the experience. The lobby ceiling gracefully inverts into a butterfly roof to lend a sense of elegance and awe to the experience and to project the profile of an open book to the community at large.

Evan Shaw
Managing Architect

From the onset, the design team was challenged with blending together a long-term space program that the library had previously prepared that called for a 60,000sf building with the reality of a budget that could only afford a third of that space. Through methodical and thoughtful collaboration with library and city staff, as well as members of the community, the project team was able to craft a design that not only was in budget, but met the immediate service needs and is flexible to grow-in-place, as well as expand in the future. Everyone being a good listener was paramount to the project’s success. We couldn’t have asked for a better group of staff and community members to collaborate with.

Other Team Members