Making room for a new generation of readers at landmark library

“Named in honor of the first governor of California and founder of Los Angeles, the Felipe de Neve Branch Library is listed on the National register of Historic Places, an honor that brought extra scrutiny to this sensitive project.”

After an 8-year closure, Felipe de Neve Branch Library in the city’s Lafayette Park neighborhood reopened its doors following an historic restoration, seismic upgrade, and expansion — an effort that required close collaboration with a variety of City of Los Angeles officials, community leaders and public artists.

The addition echoes the formality and simplicity of the original plan. Two contemporary pavilions flank the original structure and create a link between the reading room and the terrace of a neighboring park. The pavilions, connected to the main building by glass arteries, define a semi-enclosed exterior space that is used as classrooms and reading areas. Distinctive new rectangular windows contrast with and complement the arched windows of the historic structure. The windows were strategically placed to accommodate library features including the bookshelves. Interior spaces are open with minimal partitions to provide seamless interaction between the reading, classroom, supervision and reference desk areas.

  • 1997 Commendation for Addition to Historic Public Building, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs
  • 1995 Commendation for Historic Preservation, Cultural Heritage Commission of Los Angeles

Felipe de Neve Branch Library

Lafayette Park, Los Angeles, California

Library Department, Public Works, City of Los Angeles

  • 5,400 sf
  • remodel, seismic upgrade
  • 1500 sf pavilion addition
  • Completion: 1998

Creating better environments
for living, working & playing.