Located in the ‘recently’ developed Front Range Village in Fort Collins, the new 17,000 square foot Council Tree Library provides a progressive, modern interior coupled with services tailored to a new library experience. Taking advantage of its location in a mixed-use development, the new branch reinvents the traditional public library while simultaneously enhancing the adjacent shopping experience. This synergistic relationship between a public library and private sector commercialism is rarely as apparent as exists at the Council Tree branch. The cross-pollination between ‘Village’ shoppers and library patrons is palpable and makes a profound statement about the role of a public library in contemporary society. The Public Works worked with Joseph Montalbano and his team at Studiotrope Design Collective on creating a space that would be conducive for the clientele to flow through in a relaxed and informal way.
The furnishings were specifically designed to be mobile and rounded in shape so that the librarians would be encouraged to place them and rearrange them within the flow of customer traffic to allow for constant interaction between the patrons and the collection as well as the librarians.Wayfinding – large, brightly colored and eye catching – was designed by Deva Montalbano at Studiotrope and seamlessly incorporated into the furnishings. This approach ensured a highly functional interior that feels comfortable and relaxing. The library interior received a platinum level LEED certification – the first library interior to achieve such a distinction – and the Supple Collection played a large part in achieving the certification with its sustainable materials and local fabrication. Merchandizing such a high proportion of the items in collections out in the community areas, rather than stacking them in traditional shelving has increased the float rate by an incredible amount.