AIA Mich recognizes Ann Arbor's Traverwood library for design

The Ann Arbor District Library's Traverwood branch looks like something that could be featured in Dwell or URBANLAND, which is why the American Institute of Architects Michigan chapter recognized it for its design.

The AIA award jury describes Traverwood as a project that "shows a great sensitivity towards the timeless hallmarks of great design: space, materiality, lighting, form. The detailing is excellent; inventive design combined with rigorous execution."

Put more simply, think modern, contemporary design, and lots of it. The library is truly a modern art masterpiece without the snideness that comment inspires.

The Ann Arbor District Library built the library on four acres of green space at the southwest corner of Traverwood Drive and Huron Parkway. Northville-based inFORM studio tried to incorporate as much of the surrounding area into the design as possible.

First it chose a corner of the green space so as not to disturb the rest of the natural area. It also used dying ash trees on the property for everything from paneling to flooring to structural columns in the new library. Detroit Public Television is airing a documentary on this called "Up from Ashes" at 8 p.m. Thursday on Channel 56.

"If we're going to build here we need to be as respectful as possible," says Cory Lavigne, design director of inFORM studio.

He describes the library as the urban edge or nose guard protecting the rest of the green space. He also says his firm tried to make the design complement the landscape.

Source: Cory Lavigne, design director of inFORM studio
Writer: Jon Zemke
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