Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle designed the interior transformation of a former Walmart in McAllen, Texas into McAllen Library (America’s largest single floor public library).
This 124,500 square-foot adaptive re-use project has drawn positive feedback from the community, raising 23% rise in registration after its opening.
McAllen Main Library by Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle:
After Walmart abandoned one of its retail stores in McAllen, Texas, the city decided to reuse the structure as a new main library.
The primary challenge of reusing the building was to create a highly functional, flexible library of 124,500 square feet on a single level. This area is equivalent to nearly 2 1/2 football fields, making the new library the largest single-story library in the U.S. To meet this challenge, the designers had the old store interior and new mechanical systems painted white to form a neutral shell for new patron and service areas, which are designated with color. Primary program areas – including community meeting rooms, the children’s library, adult services, and the staff area—are located in quadrants of the building. This clear organization allows easy wayfinding and patron access from a central service spine, delineated by a patterned wood ceiling that runs the length of the building. A secondary spine in orange bisects the first to further distinguish the public community meeting rooms from the private staff area and the children’s from the adult services areas.
MS&R led the design of the building interior and furniture selection and design as part of a team led by Boultinghouse Simpson Architects of McAllen.
Photos from MSRdesign