City of Avondale


Sam Garcia Western Avenue Library

Avondale, Arizona

12,000 GSF, 1115 M2

Architecture, Engineering, Interior Architecture, Programming

Award of Merit -- Buildings & Structures: Civic, Environmental Excellence Awards, Best of Show, PRIDE Awards, Citation Award

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“The new library is catalyst for the revitalization of Old Town Avondale. Not only does it provide a vibrant place for residents to gather, it complements the unique area for businesses to locate.”

—Marie Lopez Rogers, Mayor, City of Avondale


To launch a revitalization strategy for Avondale’s Old Town area, the community saw a new library as essential. SmithGroupJJR took on the task of delivering an open, inviting facility that’s also a catalyst for redevelopment of the historic zone.

The design incorporates a glass façade to visually connect passing pedestrians and retail with activity inside. By programming the ground floor to support community and children’s activities, this strategy delivered on the desired openness and interaction. The design-build solution then fulfilled the promise of a welcoming atmosphere through an enhanced outdoor lighting scheme and improvements to circulation centered on the outdoor Sernas Plaza. The result is a magnetic community gathering space.

A vibrant color scheme highlights interior floors that maximize natural light and support flexibility. Adult and teen reading areas, located on the second level, enjoy scenic views of the valley, Estrella Mountains and the Old Town neighborhood. SmithGroupJJR accomplished all of this, as well as the integration of thoughtful sustainability measures, several weeks ahead of schedule.