Rosa F. Keller Library & Community Center / by Eskew+Dumez+Ripple

© Timothy Hursley

This New Orleans neighborhood library is comprised of two buildings joined together with the intention that they function as a whole. One building is a historically significant bungalow built as a residence in 1917, sited prominently on the corner of South Broad Street and Napoleon Avenue. The other building, built in 1993 specifically to function as a library, was home to the main reading room and stock areas. Both buildings were severely flooded by levee breaks attributed to Hurricane Katrina. The bungalow was salvaged and raised for future flood prevention, but the modern addition was deemed necessary for replacement by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).

© Timothy Hursley

The new 10,000 square foot combined library and community center serves the Broadmoor community by providing residents with an innovative 21st century library, community center, gathering space, and valuable educational resource. A visually open connection is maintained between the Historic House and Library Addition in order to create spatial relief as the two buildings touch. This “spine” allows for a clear line of sight to the playground across Broad Street and provides a clear entry sequence into the library. The new addition primarily houses book shelving, computer stations, and other core elements of the library function, while the historic house operates primarily as the community meeting center and home to a small café.

© Timothy Hursley

Rosa F. Keller Library & Community Center

Architect: Eskew+Dumez+Ripple

Spackman, Mossop + Michaels, Landscape Architect
Kulkarni Consultants, Civil / Structural Engineer
Lucien T. Vivien & Associates, MEP Engineer
Professional Services Industries, Inc., Geotechnical Engineer
Associated Office Systems, Furnishings
Ryan Gootee General Contractors, LLC, General Contractor

Year of Completion: 2012
Location: New Orleans, LA
Client: City of New Orleans, New Orleans Public Library
Project Size: 10,000 square feet
Software Implemented: AutoCAD
Photography: Timothy Hursley