Art & Architecture
The Bellevue Library, which opened July 1, 1993, was designed by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership.
The sides facing downtown Bellevue (south and east) are comprised of exposed concrete columns, infilled with glass and red sandstone. The north and west facades utilize a patterned brick veneer, with finer detailing and a scale respectful of residential neighbors.
The visually striking roof forms are articulated to break down the scale of the building and enhance the interior spatial quality and exterior appeal. A continuous northern clerestory glass provides for indirect light into public areas below. The wood roof structure is clad with steel, reminiscent of the traditional and durable material used in church steeples.
Ashwood Plaza, a park developed by the City of Bellevue, borders the south perimeter of the building, and provides the library with a grand "front porch" that enhances the architecture. Graced by the elegant cast bronze sculpture Double Inquiry, by Larry Kirkland, the plaza provides a venue for outdoor concerts and gatherings.
The Bellevue Library has won several major awards: 2000 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Merit Award, Western International Summit; 1999 AIA Civic Design Merit Award; 1997 AIA Honor Award; 1995 ALA/AIA National Award of Excellence for Library Architecture; 1995 AIA Award of Merit, Pacific Northwest Region; 1994 AIA Honor Award, Portland Chapter; 1994 Associated General Contractors of Washington, Excellence in Construction; 1993 AIA Award of Merit, Seattle Chapter
Art works by several notable Northwest artists were commissioned for the new Bellevue Library. These works include: Reynard the Fox, a wall sculpture, by Richard S. Beyer; Check it Out, a cast glass window, by Ann Troutner and Paul Marioni; and Historic Portraits, 12 porcelain enamel panels, by Garth Edwards. Custom lighting fixtures were designed for the library by Walter White and custom ceramic tiles were designed by Anne Storrs. The sculpture, Golden Boy, on permanent exhibit, was created by award-winning artist Leo Osborne.
Amber Pod, a kiln cast crystal form by Ann Robinson, was donated to the Bellevue Library in 1996 in memory of Dale Cozadd.
The Art and Architecture of the Bellevue Library, a brochure
available at the library, provides a complete description of the art works.