The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) honored Evolution Design of Tempe with the national Elevate Award for best Institutional Design for the White Tank Branch Library in Waddell.

Surrounded entirely by pristine Sonoran desert, the 29,000 SF library and nature center, winner of the 2011 RED Award for Most Sustainable Project, is designed to serve both library and park visitors.

Beyond efficient functional planning, primary concerns were energy efficiency, water conservation, passive solar design and returning the site to its native appearance – all of which helped it become the fourth public library in the U.S. to receive LEED Platinum certification.

Design services encompassed programming through construction administration, including furniture specification. The library has 12-inch thick tilt walls, integrally colored in shades of green, exposed on the interior expressing interpretations of the petroglyphs that are present on-site at the park.

Accent colors of fuchsia, marigold and fire-brush red contrast the sage green backdrop and reflect the library’s natural setting. River rock stone inlays form a natural entry path to the building. In order to maximize the exterior views, library shelving stacks are kept low, providing visitors with 180-degree vistas to the desert beyond.

The overall layout of the building, completed in November 2010, follows the radial pattern of the exterior fins, again maximizing the views from all vantage points.

A dozen ASID chapters submitted more than 100 award-winning entries from around the U.S. The event was held at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. The black tie event included a silent auction and ASID acknowledgement of the 2013 Class of ASID Fellows which included the contemporary design legend Barbara Barry.

Developer of the project was the Maricopa County Library District; general contractor was Mortenson Construction; and architect was DWL.