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West Las Vegas Library

Awards Category

Unbuilt Architecture

Project Summary

Located in the Historic Westside neighborhood, the West Las Vegas Library will stand as a vibrant tribute to the rich cultural legacy and thriving art community that flourished throughout the 1950s. This period, marked by creative brilliance and resilience, bore witness to civil injustices. The West Las Vegas neighborhood is now diverse and multi-cultural. The new West Las Vegas Library will consist of approximately 41,400 SF, 2-story facility located on 5 acres in the Historic West Side of Las Vegas. This facility will replace the current West Las Vegas Library that is outdated and beyond capacity. The design team collectively lead efforts to design a new state-of-the-art library facility that will act as a beacon of technology and education attracting patrons from nearby communities. Blending function and cultural symbolism, the library will offer a space to learn, create, gather, and more. This open and flexible library will adapt to diverse uses based on patron and community needs. In doing so, the library will embody the spirit of resilience and progress that defines the Westside community for years to come.

Project Narrative

The new West Las Vegas Library will stand as a living monument that pays tribute to the African American experience of the Historic Westside, a resilient neighborhood that emerged from the shadow of segregation and civic injustices during the 1930s. The new facility will provide enhanced resources and services aimed at improving the neighborhood’s socioeconomic plight. This state-of-the-art library, with its inviting exterior, multipurpose programming, and visual wayfinding, will create special moments and engage visitors in an educational journey. The design aligns with the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s goals by offering various programs that support literacy, family learning, and social services while expanding technology access through innovation and multi-media creation labs. The new facility features a homework help station, teen lounge areas, children-centered technology, and dedicated story time areas—amenities that were once limited. Through community engagement with local leaders, residents and library staff, the team developed a one-stop community hub serving this library and the community at large. There were important site-related constraints to consider such as proximity to the existing library, walking distances to schools and community centers, and connection to neighborhood infrastructure. The new facility will be located in the heart of the Historic Westside nearby the newly built Legacy Park and current library, part of the Las Vegas Enterprise Park, a mixed-use business park that is home to other vital organizations. On the East façade, an LED display communicates events, announcements, and special themed holidays to patrons. The lobby is a pre-functional space that connects North, East and West entrances to the library. Inspired by the vernacular Southern porches, two porch-like entrances bookend the Library’s North and East entrances to create continuity with the building’s indoor-outdoor circulation paths. The porches invite patrons inside while extending into a breezeway courtyard ideal for social gatherings and as a pre-function space to the multipurpose event center. Native landscape and a flexible outdoor plaza act as additional programmable space with the urbanscape elements providing a pleasant connection to the nearby Historic Westside Legacy Park. Inside, visitors will be greeted by an open, light-filled atrium with ample interior glazing, providing passersby with views into the makerspace and classrooms. Interior spaces prioritize flexibility and adaptability by integrating emerging technologies to meet the community's evolving needs. Thoughtful patterns and finish selections pay homage to African American cultural contributions and the vibrant hues of the surrounding Las Vegas landscape. The design team was able to include sustainable design features that maximize efficiency of systems and create a high-performing LEED Silver building by reducing water and energy consumption and enhancing indoor environment through the selection of sustainable finishes. With the financial goals for this project, the design meets all programming needs while creating an aesthetically pleasing facility that considers sustainability, culture, history, and overall library functions. Large conventional materials complement the neighborhood fabric, giving the freedom to allocate the budget to architectural features including a LED display, a breezeway courtyard, and accentuating the building mass with metal and glazing finishes.

Sustainable Design & Materials

From conceptual design the new West Las Vegas Library was designed to achieve LEED Silver certification through early integration of design strategies across all disciplines. Among them were the studies of massing, orientation, and shading at entry points and courtyard. Strategies were tested and scrutinized until the design met all the client’s criteria. Site design included shaded trees to reduce heat island effect. Consideration of alternative transportation such as bicycles, electric vehicle charging stations, high-occupancy vehicles were prioritized while an open plaza and shaded breezeway courtyard encourages outdoor gatherings. High-performance targets were established for all building systems, including reducing water and energy consumption. Water use reduction was achieved with high-efficiency plumbing fixtures and desert landscape plants with efficient irrigation systems. Mechanical systems that optimized energy performance and refrigerant management were selected. The design aims to enhance indoor environmental quality and advanced air filtration. The design considers on-going sustainability practices through enhanced commissioning, permanent monitoring of indoor contaminants, energy and water metering, and storage/collection of recyclables. A life-cycle impact reduction was achieved by the selection of low VOC-emitting building materials that provide full disclosure information through third-party commissioning.

Project Stats

Square Feet


Green Building Designation(s)

Date of Completion

Project Location

1861 N M.L.K. Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89106, USA

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