The existing Malibu Library experienced only minor modifications in its 50-year existence. It overlooked an amazing, new city park about 500 feet from the coast. The city of Malibu and the Los Angeles County Public Library System sought to transform the structure into a lively, sustainable civic statement. To make the space feel three times larger, lighter and brighter, designers created a plan to hollow out the existing library building shell and reinterpret the space to accommodate a modern, high-tech facility.

With a single-glazed opening at the far south end of the building, several round clerestory structures were added to allow natural light to filter deep into the space. Fixed windows were removed and replaced with glass bi-fold doors that open and connect the interior with a new, 3,500-square-foot library garden.

The garden features a small presentation stage and reading orchard, and can be used as a venue for functions and special events. Inspired by the Malibu coast, the garden's design incorporates an abstracted wind sail, water metaphors and undulating shapes and forms.

The outside of the library is clad in large-scale pressed panels detailed in varying shades of blue to simulate the colors of the sea. A dramatic wave, using acrylic panels made of recycled milk bottle recycled materials, is an eye-catching focal point inside the library. The library is LEED Gold certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

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