The Book Garden
Reading, Resources and Resiliency
JENSEN reimagines a municipal library as a civic space that builds community resiliency—and generates more energy than it uses.
Since 2011, the Architecture at Zero competition, presented by Pacific Gas and Electric Company and AIA California, has invited architects and engineers worldwide to investigate new approaches to the design of zero net energy (ZNE) buildings—buildings that generate more energy than they use. The program for 2020 considers a ZNE community library for San Benito County, a largely rural area reaching across miles of Central California agricultural lands. With the expansion of retail and other enterprises in the area, this multicultural community has grown four-fold since its existing library was built in 1960. JENSEN’s competition-winning proposal poses a larger question: With the prospect of more social, cultural and environmental changes on the horizon, how can a library provide the most far reaching benefits for the community it serves?