Sited on the northwest corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in the city of Winter Park, Florida (population 30,000+), this major redevelopment has produced a beautiful new civic and cultural hub embodies the values of the park’s namesake.
Designed by the famed architectural firm, Adjaye Associates, it’s envisioned as a space for community empowerment, edification and regeneration.
As part of an extensive revitalization of the park, the new hub is in harmony with the unique tropical ecology of the site and is conceived as a micro-village of three pavilions, each of different scale and function but which share a common formal language.
The village comprises a new two-story library, an event center with a rooftop terrace, as well as a new welcome portico that ushers users from the street and unifies the three structures.
Guided by biophilic design principles, all three pavilions–composed of rose-pigmented concrete– rest on a raised belvedere that provides idyllic views onto Lake Mendsen, increasing connectivity to the park’s wellness offerings and supporting a new network of exterior green community spaces that run between the three structures.
Arches, inspired both by local fauna and the region’s vernacular architecture, establish the form of the pavilions, with vaulted rooflines and sweeping windows creating a porous relationship between interior and exterior, drawing natural light deep into the buildings.
The diverse program includes flexible floor plates for both the library and events center, encouraging cross-pollination and maximizing adaptability for each.
The library’s open-plan supports collection spaces accessible to all ages and abilities, interactive youth and children areas, an indoor auditorium, maker spaces and technology portals, an entrepreneurship center, and continuing education spaces, extending the means by which the entire community can interact, learn and gather.
The events center features a flexible auditorium space and a rooftop terrace that offers expansive views of the lakeside park setting.
Creating parity between the civic library space and the commercially focused event center, both buildings feature a signature sculptural stair.
As an ensemble, the Winter Park Library & Events Center comes together as a space of social gathering, intellectual nourishment, and enhanced connection to its natural tropical context.
Photographs are by Dror Baldinger, Chad Baumer and Ivane Katamashvili.