Joplin Library

Joplin, Missouri
Project joplinlibrary

Joplin, Missouri was razed by one of the worst tornados in US history in 2011. Commercial, residential, and public properties were left in various degrees of destruction; the southern part of the city was decimated along the 20th street corridor. The new Joplin Public Library is the catalyst site for the 20th street redevelopment corridor as envisioned in Joplin’s 2012 “Moving Forward Community Masterplan.” The site, on a primary intersection, represents a starting point for redevelopment directly adjacent to future mixed-use development. The new library establishes an integrated community center and basis of design for the broader community.

The lighting concept is meant to provide a brightness to the redevelopment, a playful outdoor atmosphere for the community and a statement of the heart and soul of the people of Joplin that overcame such tragedy. The lighting takes on the forms and patterns of the landscape architecture inspired by the books and shelving in traditional libraries. Linear and rectangular sources are used in unexpected ways. Integrated lighting is used within a custom bench detail as a spirited replica of books stacked on their sides. A custom set of light poles was designed as a feature in the event lawn to symbolize the project as a beacon of hope for the redevelopment, a sign of a new beginning. It was important the outdoor spaces allowed for continued use into the night time hours not only for events but also for outdoor reading during those events. The continued redevelopment of the area was taken into consideration knowing that this building was the first of many along the corridor so the area lighting should not only be uniform, but the illuminance should allow for safe use of the site as the redevelopment continued.

Landscape Architect

Design Workshop


Sapp Architects


12Eighty-One Photography

Joplin Stadium 1 Joplin Entry 2 Joplin Parking 3

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