Co-Designed by Shepley Bulfinch, Austin’s New Central Library Opens


BOSTON – Lake|Flato Architects and Shepley Bulfinch announced the grand opening of Austin’s New Central Library. The new library represents a civic-minded, community gathering space in the heart of downtown, overlooking Shoal Creek and Lady Bird Lake.

As the western portal to downtown and terminus to Second Street, the library celebrates the city’s investment in revitalizing west downtown. A LEED Platinum-designed project within the Seaholm EcoDistrict, the New Central Library demonstrates the City’s continued dedication to exemplary sustainable design.

(Photo credit: Casey Dunn)

“The Austin Public Library’s new central library will drastically enhance Austinites’ library experience and will expand the role of the library in the community.  This extraordinary re-envisioning of the library is due in large part to Lake Flato’s and Shepley Bulfinch’s brilliant design.  As executive director of the Austin Public Library Foundation, it has been a pleasure and an honor to see such a significant project take shape and I look forward to inviting all of Austin to enjoy their wonderful new library,” said Tim Staley, Executive Director, Austin Library Foundation.

The New Central Library anchors the vibrant Seaholm EcoDistrict, reclaiming 40,000 sq. ft. of a former brownfield site and converting it to community gathering space that reflects Austin’s spirit of originality and soul. At 200,000 sq. ft., this New Central Library replaces the outdated Faulk Central Library as part of the Austin Public Library System – doubling its capacity. The project team, City of Austin, and Austin community genuinely collaborated to envision a Library of the Future — a technology-rich, inviting community gathering place for exploration of knowledge and celebration of Austin’s unique and authentic culture. The New Central Library is a vibrant and flexible epicenter for the entire Austin community, imbued with connections to the outdoors.

“During the past 20 or so years, Austin has built many buildings, but few places of consequence. The new Austin Central Library is a place of consequence,” said Michael Barnes, Art & Culture Critic, Austin American Statesman.

Lake|Flato is a passionate advocate for environmental stewardship through its focus in sustainable design. The firm has been honored with over 250 design awards, including the American Institute of Architects Firm Award in 2004, Texas Medal of Arts in 2009, Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2014, and ten AIA Committee on the Environment Top Ten Project Awards. In 2016, Fast Company named Lake|Flato one of the Ten Most Innovative Architecture Firms in the World.

Shepley Bulfinch is a national architecture firm known for design excellence and innovation. With offices in Boston, Houston, and Phoenix, the firm provides architecture, planning, and interior design solutions for leading institutions in academics and healthcare, as well as urban development and civic organizations.