Planned renovation will help Fort Bend County library meet the changing needs of a modern community.
Houston— George Memorial Library — In April, Studio RED Architects completed a design for the new George Memorial Library. For the renovation, Studio RED was teamed with Crain Group, the design builder. “Design/Build is becoming increasingly more popular amongst our client groups because of the need to fast-track project schedules and minimize cost,” said Micah Simecek, Project Architect with Studio RED. “Because of this trend, Studio RED is looking to create the partnerships and experience to serve our clients effectively using this delivery model. The Library project is yet another example of Studio RED’s ability to serve clients with this model and will serve to hone our skills in the design/build method.”
Renovation and Upgrade
The existing 90,000+ gsf library was built in 1985 and was in need of renovation and upgrades to meet the growing technology and social needs of a 21st Century Library. Fort Bend County presented Crain Group/Studio RED with a comprehensive list of needs and features that they wished to achieve all within a limited budget. Their program included relocating and expanding their Genealogy Department and Regional Historic Resource Depository, creating casual seating areas and an Internet Café, creating a new 1,800 gsf Storage Building, creating a new circulation desk, and upgrading their existing amphitheater.
Studio RED used the program needs list from the County as a base line to create an overall project scope. With a set project budget established with the Crain Group, Studio RED set out to find how to best utilize project funds for the greatest impact. Through several charrette-style design meetings, Studio RED worked through every square foot of the existing library space, identifying strategies that would make efficient use of space and upgrade finishes. With close participation with the Crain Group, Studio RED was able to achieve more of the desired features set forth by the county while staying within the original project budget, effectively buying more project scope for the same amount of money as the original scope.
“The renovated amphitheater will receive a new tensile fabric shade structure that will enhance the design and presence of the facility in the community,” said Simecek when asked about notable design features. “Other simple improvements such as an ‘eyebrow canopy’ over the proscenium opening create visual interest as well a functional element for hanging theatrical lights. The improvements to the amphitheater will enhance the Library’s ability to serve the community.”
George Memorial Library
Studio RED has experience identifying efficiencies and strategies that maximize project scope on limited budgets by thinking outside the box and challenging preconceived notions. This experience brought valuable critical and creative thinking to the project, as did Studio RED’s recent success with the City of Houston Central Permitting Center. Completion of the George Memorial Library renovation is expected in April 2014.
About Studio RED
Studio RED Architects is a Houston-based architectural firm with a reputation for design and excellence in entertainment, commercial and worship facilities. Notable projects include worship centers such as Lakewood Church, performing arts centers such as the Texas Southmost College Music Education Building, and renovation projects such as the LEED award-winning City of Houston Permitting Center.