Slover Library is a public library in Norfolk, Virginia, that combines a historic building with a modern addition. The library offers a variety of services and features, such as computers, internet access, interactive displays, and a digital media lab. The library also hosts events, activities, and programs for the community, such as lectures, workshops, and exhibitions. But how did this library come to be? And who are the architects behind it?
In this article, we will tell you the story of Slover Library Tymoff and Moss, and how they transformed a 115-year-old building into a state-of-the-art library.
The History of Slover Library
Slover Library is named after Colonel Samuel L. However, the library was not built from scratch, but rather incorporated an existing building: the Seaboard building.
The Seaboard building was built in 1899 as a customs house and post office. It was designed by James Knox Taylor, a prominent architect who also designed the U.S. Treasury Building and the U.S. Mint Building. The building featured a classical revival style, with a granite facade, a copper dome, and a central courtyard. The building served as a customs house and post office until 1933, when it was converted into a city hall.
In 2009, the city of Norfolk decided to renovate the Seaboard building and use it as the main library. The city hired Newman Architects, a firm based in New Haven, Connecticut, to design the renovation and expansion of the building. Newman Architects collaborated with Tymoff + Moss Architects, a local firm based in Norfolk, to execute the project. The project involved restoring the Seaboard building, adding a new seven-story glass addition, and connecting it to an adjacent commercial building, the Selden Arcade.
The Design of Slover Library
Slover Library is a stunning example of how a historic building can be preserved and enhanced with a modern addition. The design of the library is based on four main goals:
- To respect and celebrate the history and architecture of the Seaboard building, by restoring its original features and opening its interior to the public.
- To create a transparent and inviting addition, by using glass walls, skylights, and atriums, to provide natural light and ventilation, and to connect the library to the city and the outdoors.
- To provide a flexible and adaptable space, by using modular and movable furniture, walls, and partitions, to accommodate various types and sizes of functions and activities, such as reading, studying, working, and socializing.
- To incorporate sustainable and innovative elements, by using renewable energy, water conservation, waste management, and green transportation, to reduce the environmental impact and carbon footprint of the library.
The library consists of three main parts: the Seaboard building, the glass addition, and the Selden Arcade. The Seaboard building houses the history and genealogy collections, the special collections, and the administrative offices. The glass addition houses the general collections, the children’s library, the teen center, the digital media lab, and the meeting rooms. The Selden Arcade houses the café, the gift shop, the art gallery, and the maker space.
The Impact of Slover Library
Slover Library is more than just a library, but a community hub and a cultural landmark. The library has a significant impact on the city and the region, such as:
- It preserves and showcases the heritage and identity of Norfolk, by displaying and interpreting the history and artifacts of the city and the region.
- It provides access and opportunity to the people of Norfolk, by offering a variety of resources and services, such as books, computers, internet, digital media, and educational programs.
- It stimulates and supports the economy and innovation of Norfolk, by attracting and retaining talent, businesses, and visitors, and by fostering collaboration and creativity.
- It enhances and improves the quality of life and the environment of Norfolk, by creating a lively and vibrant neighborhood, and by promoting health and wellness.
It has also received positive feedback and appreciation from the public and the media, such as:“Slover Library is a place where people can come together to learn, create, and connect.
Slover Library Tymoff and Moss is a remarkable project that transformed a historic building into a modern library. It is a project that respected and celebrated the history and architecture of the Seaboard building, and created a transparent and inviting addition. It is a project that provided a flexible and adaptable space, and incorporated sustainable and innovative elements. It is a project that had a significant impact on the city and the region, by preserving and showcasing the heritage and identity of Norfolk, by providing access and opportunity to the people of Norfolk, by stimulating and supporting the economy and innovation of Norfolk, and by enhancing and improving the quality of life and the environment of Norfolk. Slover Library Tymoff and Moss is a project that you should know and visit, if you are interested in architecture and design.