The Apple Carnegie Library in Washington, DC has just won a major award for interior design at the 2020 edition of the American Architecture Awards.
The store is located in the heart of the American capital, and is located in a large square that was previously occupied by the city’s very first public library, which has since undergone a complete revitalization while maintaining its distinctive classic elements.
“The Apple Carnegie Library is located in the heart of Washington DC, marking the revitalization of an important monument in the city’s history,” the announcement said. As the city’s first public library, and its first desegregated public building, the Carnegie Library in Washington DC played a central role in society for over 70 years since opening in 1903. After a period of neglect, the Apple Carnegie Library continues the building’s traditions of creating a new platform for learning, performance and art for a new generation. ”
We are pleased that the Apple Carnegie Library is a “winner” at this year’s American Architecture Awards. pic.twitter.com/7zkYOrPNxu
– Foster + Partners (@FosterPartners) October 8, 2020
The library was originally founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1903, and follows an architectural style known as Beaux-Arts:
The Beaux-Arts-style listed building has been restored to its former grandeur, with entrances on both sides of the north-south axis, creating an inviting urban route through the building. The southern entrance, which was the original entrance to the library, is in front of a large square that will host public concerts and events. The heart of the building has been transformed into a sky-high double-height room, delimited by a new skylight that brings natural light deep into the interior rooms. Here, the Forum forms the pulsating, creative hub for the building, where experts from different fields will entertain and inspire the locals. The audience can see the performances and workshops from two levels, and create a lively and interactive experience.
The entire palette of materials used in the interior was chosen to suit the historic surroundings, inspired by the distinctive detail from the beginning of the 20th century in the building. The project is driven by a very sustainable agenda, which included upgrading the historic building by reintroducing natural ventilation and generous use of daylight, as well as a commitment to locally sourced materials.
A large staircase leads to the DC History Center on the second floor and the Carnegie Gallery in the basement, which displays historical photographs and documents that the public can learn about the building’s origins and history. The Apple Carnegie Library is also reviving the surrounding park, while enhancing the northern entrance to create a clear route through the building that strengthens the connections between the northern and southern ends of the site.
Apple has renovated the entire building for the store on the first floor, which they share with the Carnegie Gallery. The top floor is occupied by the DC History Center.