The Design Collaborative

Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library

Virginia Beach Public Library
Virginia Beach, Virginia

The Design Collaborative was commissioned to design a 95,000 square foot Central Library emphasizing library technology, flexibility, energy efficiency, economy and value. Public service areas are located on the ground floor and mezzanine. Open planning allows maximum flexibility in arranging furniture and equipment, makes library services more visible and accessible, and allows full service operations with a smaller staff. Meeting rooms and a 250-seat auditorium occupy a separate wing.

This project has received 4 awards: Best New Building Award by Portfolio Magazine, 1988; Award of Honor for Architecture by the Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission, 1988; and Energy Design Award by the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects, 1987.  Most recently, it was selected for the VSAIA Test of Time Award, 2012.

After 15 years of heavy use, The Design Collaborative was engaged to redesign the interior space plan and renovate the building. Replacement of finishes, updating systems and replacing worn out furniture were primary tasks. The work was phased so that the library remained opened through most of the construction. A number of areas were reconfigured to better support new services.