seventeen new buildings and renovations commissioned by the Multnomah County Library, and it's a gem. Awarded a Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, the Hillsdale Library sits atop its masonry base like a small temple devoted to learning. (And for those of you paying attention in Architecture 101, yes, this building is a tribute to Henri Labrouste's Parisian classic, the 1868 Bibliotheque Nationale.)
Walking inside this library, one finds that the bulk of the interior is designed to form a "reading garden." Natural light floods in from skylights and the clerestory that encircles the building. While the interior steel columns reinforce the structure and eliminate the need for supportive interior walls, they also serve a visual purpose. And with a little imagination, they can remind one of the orchard that once grew here. (So maybe this is actually a "reading orchard.") And finally, the use of wood ties this library into the Northwest Regional style.
* Thomas Hacker once worked for noted American architect Louis Kahn.