BCWH and Tappé Architects designed the new 44,000 SF Fairfield Area Library. After multiple neighborhood stakeholder meetings, the design team set upon the task of creating an inspired design solution that responded to the unique needs and aspirations of this community. Like its predecessors, the new library is envisioned as a center of opportunity and hub for learning. Uniquely, it will also provide spaces focused on family and the teaching of life skills - two primary themes of the community’s input. The public enters the building at the intersection of two 2-story building volumes. From this point of arrival, patrons can easily locate and access the Adult Area and community meeting spaces on the main floor and the Teen and Children’s Areas on the upper floor. In addition to a large community meeting room and a conference room, patrons will be able to use a multi-functional classroom for life skills classes and activities. The classroom opens to an outdoor instructional space. A unique feature to a Henrico County Library, the one-button recording studio will allow the public to record personal histories. On the upper floor, the thresholds to the Teen and Children’s Areas are connected by a collaboration space, whose primary use is to function as a central gathering space for parents and caregivers. Outfitted with lounge seating and tables & chairs, and supported by technology, it is intended as a space for informal gathering and productive work.