Design Update

The project is sited within the historic Marmalade District and, therefore,
must seek to respect the context and character of the area. The proposed
site for the Library has been vacant for over a decade, so there are no directly
adjacent buildings nor is there any immediate context.

In the fall of 2012, Salt Lake City amended and formally adopted the Design
Guidelines for Historic Commercial Properties & Districts in Salt Lake City.
This document has served as a reference for developing the exterior of the
Marmalade Library. Among the particular aspects of the project relating to the
Design Guidelines, the current Library design achieves the following:

• The project “recognizes, reinforces and enhances the sense of place
associated with a particular urban setting”.
• The primary facades and building entry are oriented toward the major
streets; 500 North and 300 West.
• The setbacks are respected allowing pedestrian space, landscaping
and an entry court to reinforce the neighborhood pattern.
• The corner building location is emphasized with the second floor
overhang providing civic presence and a strong sense of entry.
• The building massing, scale and form respect the existing and proposed
streetscape. Since the project is the first phase of a larger private
development, and it is a significant civic structure, it is important that
the architectural development set it apart from the future construction
but maintain a relationship in its scale and massing.
• The project reinforces a sense of human scale. Though the project
is meant to have a strong identity and presence, the architectural
detailing, materials and texture provide a comfortable relationship to
the human scale.
• The roof form is an integral part of the building design and used,
specifically, to conceal the rooftop mechanical units from the views of
neighboring structures.
• Continuous storefront glazing at the base of the building provide a
strong relationship to commercial buildings in the area, as well as
lending vibrancy to the street.
• There is a strong distinction between the first floor, as a base level, and
the second floor, as the middle, and a roof treatment. All of which work
collectively to establish a hierarchy of architectural expression.

01_Site Plan


The first floor contains the Staff and Building Support Areas, the
Children’s Collection, Teen / Young Adult spaces and the Cafe. The main entry
is from 500 North, however, the after-hours entry would be from the north
side of the building at the public plaza space. This will require an operable
partition of some kind to secure the Library areas from the public for afterhours

02_First Floor Plan
The second floor hosts the Adult Collection and the large, community Multi-
Purpose Space. To support these uses, Conference and Study Rooms are
incorporated at this level. And, as an additional amenity, a small roof terrace
is planned for outdoor seating and reading. The extent of this roof terrace is
still to be determined as the project cost estimate is developed.

03_Second Floor Plan


The exterior design includes cost-effective, low-maintenance building
materials which relate strongly in color, texture and character to the surround
Marmalade context. Zinc cladding is proposed for the upper volume of the
community Multi-Purpose Room. Weathered steel panels clad the second
floor Conference Room and the base of the building at the south, east and
north sides. A terracotta cladding system is used to provide passive shading
of the west-facing glass. Terracotta or integrally-colored cement board panels
are proposed for the secondary and in-fill cladding at the north stair tower and
upper story volumes.

Exact materials, their colors, textures and detailing will be explored continually
during the Design Development phase. Similarly, these materials will be
evaluated for affordability as the construction cost estimates are more
refined. It should be noted that materials could, and often do, change from
the Schematic Design to Design Development phases.

04_Conceptual Building Massing

05_Conceptual Building Massing


20 responses to “Design Update

  1. Hate the new design; doesn’t respect the neighborhood at all.  So Sad to see this design as a done deal.   B.K. Hill 5 S. 500 West #518 The Parc at Gateway Salt Lake City, UT 84101


    • Thanks much for your comments, B.K. Hill, we appreciate hearing from anyone and everyone. The design may not be to everyone’s taste, but the community has steered the design direction substantially. In the end, we are extremely confident that the final design solution will be very well-suited for the neighborhoods served, acknowledging the rich historic fabric but also looking toward the future growth and development.
      Thanks again –
      Kevin Blalock, AIA
      Principal, Blalock & Partners

  2. I love the design, Kevin! I look forward to the shovels hitting the ground.
    -300 W resident

  3. When does construction start?

    • Eric –
      The Library and the City are finalizing a number of things right now, but we’re hoping to begin construction in September / October of this year. Thanks for your interest.
      Kevin Blalock, AIA
      Principal, Blalock & Partners

  4. Change is very difficult for people but with change comes new opportunities. Like…um…higher property value! The design is awesome, Kevin. Great job. Thank you for expanding this area and, for a lack of a better way of putting it, NOT making it look like another Family Dollar. Thank god!
    -Pugsley St resident

    • Erica – Thank you for the compliment and for embracing the project. The entire Marmalade Steering Committee (library staff, city representatives and community members) have provided invaluable insight and direction which has led us down a very exciting, dynamic path. We’re looking forward to this project anchoring the entire site and acting as a dramatic catalyst for the area.
      Thanks again –

  5. I am so so excited to see such a beautiful and functional community space coming to my neighborhood! This library will be a great addition to the community.

    • Jessica – so glad to see that you are excited about the design and what the project will mean to the community. We are looking forward to groundbreaking in early fall!
      Thanks for your comments –
      Kevin Blalock, AIA

  6. I certainly hope that in the end the final design keeps the look and feel of ‘books’ on the facade. I don’t know what that material is that gives the appearance of books but as a homeowner here hope it doesn’t change.

  7. Another thing I like about the design is that in 20 years, as tastes and times change, it will be an easy modernization project for the exterior, keeping those property values UP, won’t that be nice;)

  8. So nice to see such beautiful work. Very excited for its completion as I will be using it. It really is nice to see some developement that is going to add to upgrading the west side.
    Roberta Spilman
    Rose Park

  9. I live next door, in Senior Housing. I am Thrilled with anticipation and will enjoy watching the daily progress…….as well as the lovely, improved view!

  10. This design is great. I just bought a house in the Marmalade area and this library was one of the reasons. Thank you for your hard work.

  11. We are all excited for this project to start! When might that be?

    • Katy – We had a few hiccups getting through the City process as this is a unique partnership between the RDA and the SLC Library. Nevertheless, all of the required paperwork has been submitted to the City for final approvals and the project is currently being bid by general contractors. So, we’re anticipating that a contract for construction will be awarded by the end of January with construction commencing shortly thereafter.
      Thank you.

  12. All that paperwork and approval process can take so long but it is well worth it! I am so excited to see what its going to look like in person when its done. Great for all the kids to have something new where they can go and get more educated. Good job for all of you who are involved in this project. I think community service is what being a great American is all about. It all starts at the local level.

  13. Do you have any word on when construction will begin?

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