Imperial Beach Library
Imperial Beach, Calif.
Award of Merit

Owner: County of San Diego
General Contractor: TB Penick & Sons Inc.
Lead Design Firm: JKA Design
Civil Engineer: Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering
Structural Engineer: Orie2 Engineering Inc.
MEP Engineer: McParlane & Associates Inc.

With a relaxed, coastal design, this $8.5-million library is the new civic center in Imperial Beach. The 14,830-sq-ft building is clad in a combination of stucco and bright, wood-colored porcelain tile, reminiscent of beach cottages. The massing of the spaces is broken up to resemble these cottages, adding interest and definition.

A large, central, wave-shaped roof runs the length of the building, creating an expansive amount of glazing along northern and southern faces, while clerestory windows provide daylighting. The interior of the roof structure is exposed acoustical structural decking, creating an open voluminous space. Since the design included a variety of curved beams with complex connections, the project team used communications technology and 3D software to coordinate the structural steel required. The solar-paneled roof provides 100% energy offset for the building usage, making it zero net energy.

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