On the edge of Fort Davis Park in Southeast DC stands the Francis A. Gregory Neighborhood Library, a gleaming, timber-and-glass pavilion that perfectly complements its natural environment. Designed by internationally known, Tanzanian-born architect David Adjaye, whose firm collaborated with DC-based Wiencek + Associates, the structure is defined by a motif of checkered panels—a diamond pattern capped by a louvered, aluminum canopy. The two-story, 22,000-square-foot building won a 2012 AIA Potomac Valley Award and earned a LEED Silver rating for energy efficiency. Glass walls promote thermal gain and the canopy cuts unwanted solar load. Inside, the ceiling soars 23 feet to a skylight. Sleek, black concrete surfaces provide a backdrop to brightly hued reading chairs and Senegalese-patterned pendant lights by industrial designer Stephen Burks. Adjaye also designed the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, currently under construction on the National Mall.
DESIGN ARCHITECT: DAVID ADJAYE, Adjaye Associates, London, England. ARCHITECT OF RECORD: WIENCEK + ASSOCIATES ARCHITECTS + PLANNERS, PC, Washington, DC. CONTRACTOR: HESS CONSTRUCTION + ENGINEERING SERVICES, Gaithersburg, Maryland. PHOTOGRAPHY: ERIC TAYLOR.