The library, operated jointly by Phoenix Public Library and South Mountain Community College, won first place in the categories of Buildings and Structures, Civic; Buildings and Structures, Institutional; and Art in Public Places, for the multi-faceted public artwork "Passage" by Mags Haries, Lajos Héder and poet Alberto Rios at a ceremony held September 29.
"We are extremely proud of our beautiful library, and are thrilled to receive these honors," stated SMCC College President Dr. Shari Olson. "It is an incredible, life-changing asset and resource for our students, and our entire community."
"We are honored to be recognized for building signature facilities that exemplify the city's commitment to building a sustainable community," reported City Librarian Rita Hamilton.
The South Mountain Community Library was designed by the Phoenix architectural firm of richard+bauer, llc. The 50,000-square-foot facility was funded through the 2006 Citizens Bond Program and the 2004 Maricopa County Community College District Bond Program. The public art project was commissioned jointly by the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture Public Art Program and the Maricopa County Community College District. (High resolution images of the library.)
Earlier that day, the South Mountain Community Library celebrated its one-year anniversary with the unveiling of "Baseline Blooms," a collaborative community poem compiled by renowned Arizona poet Alberto Rios. (PDF of "Baseline Blooms" bookmark.) The poem can now be heard on the artistic acoustic chairs in the plaza outside the library's west entrance - part of Harries and Héder's "Passage." In addition to the poetry, the public art project includes a new bridge across the Western Canal, improving pedestrian access to the library and college campus. (PDF of bookmark about the project.)
Valley Forward received more than 120 entries for what is Arizona's most prestigious awards competition, focusing exclusively on sustainability initiatives. The awards were presented at a gala reception attended by 600 community leaders at Scottsdale's Westin Kierland Resort.
Phoenix Public Library is a system of 16 branch libraries and the Burton Barr Central Library. South Mountain Community College is one of the 10 Maricopa Community Colleges.
For more information about the South Mountain Community Library, call 602-262-4636, or smclibrary.org