Patience S. Latting Northwest Library

Metropolitan Library System

Oklahoma is known for its burning sunsets and emblazoned sky over endless prairie grass silhouetting the elements of industry and agriculture. The native prairie grasses have gradually given way to agriculture, windmill towers and the ever-prolific oil derrick which can be seen throughout the landscape. The trussed towers of the windmill and oil derrick structure are an identifiable inspiration of the design. Large “derrick” structures that are located at skylight penetrations, eight in all, are constructed of steel angle iron and clad in glass to bring in natural light and form the individual conference/meeting rooms. The building form is symbolic of the rolling prairie of the region, silhouetting the elements and features of Oklahoma and its tribute to the agricultural and energy industries that helped this great State prosper. Large areas of interior wood elements, known to the design as “Crate Forms,” wrap the interior offices and ceilings, along with other features that give a glimpse into Oklahoma’s past dust bowl days and shanty towns occupied by the early rough necks. The storm shelter room, which also serves as the Children’s Program Theater, offers an array of faux piping and other elements depicting the “pump shack” commonly found on an oil field site. Earth berm knolls represent the rolling Oklahoma Prairie and are planted with a native tall grass known as Buffalo Sod. All signage and wayfinding has been designed to emulate the Route 66 style popular along Oklahoma’s “mother road”. Book stack end panels portray scenes familiar to our state such as oil field equipment, prairie grasses, windmill vanes, and burning sunsets.

This 35,000 SF project has attained LEED Silver Certification for New Construction, a sustainable certification granted by the United States Green Building Council. LED lighting, day lit interiors, geothermal heating /cooling, water-efficient plumbing fixtures, low-emitting finishes, and regionally acquired materials with high recycled content provide the facility with a low impact development and sustainable footprint. The project was completed in association with Richard+Bauer.