Renton Library at Liberty Park
Client: King County Libraries
Partners: The Miller Hull Partnership
Awards: 2016 AIA/ALA Library Building Award, 2017 Seattle AIA Civic Design Award of Honor
Spanning 80 ft over the Cedar River, Renton Library sits at the nexus of Liberty Park, downtown Renton and the Cedar River trail corridor. The library originally opened in 1966 delighting the public with unmatched views of the water, railway, and active salmon habitat, while providing a pedestrian bridge connection from Liberty Park to downtown Renton. Fifty years later the building found itself in need of significant updates to the envelope and structure in order to stay open.
Although its unique siting would not be possible under current environmental restrictions, the decision was made to preserve this special building and simultaneously strengthen its interface with the park and Cedar River trail. The design team worked closely to prevent habitat disruption during construction, protect existing trees, and infill new native plantings including Deer and Sword Fern, Spiraea, Indian Paintbrush, Columbia Lily, Creeping Mahonia and Red Flowering Currant.