Forsyth County
  • Civic & Cultural

104,000 sf

Creating a Transformative "Third Place"

This impressive facelift for Forsyth County Library revitalizes the central library for the growing community, reinventing a dynamic, sustainable “third place” that meets 21st-century needs. It represents a continuation of the new energy and development in downtown Winston-Salem.

The Challenge

The challenge arose from the disjointed layout of the old library. Forsyth County demolished a portion of its old library–actually two incongruous structures built 30 years apart–to create a seamless, light-filled, modern third place for the community with more than 55,000 SF of new space.

This approach enhances natural light, improves circulation, and creates a flexible environment conducive to interaction and technological innovation, ultimately transforming the library into an open and adaptable space for community engagement.

Street Presence

The design prioritizes natural light, departing from the former building’s opaque nature. Aluminum sunshades and interior light shelves control direct sunlight on the south facade, while expansive glazed curtain walls illuminate the north side. Atop the three-story atrium, a central light monitor filters light into the building’s core.

Open Navigation

Visitors enter a central three-story atrium space with immediate visual connection to each of the major spaces of the library.

Learning Spaces

The library offers a diverse array of makerspace programs, open reading areas, and private study spaces, fostering creativity, exploration, and focused learning for patrons of all ages.