Anacostia Neighborhood Library

Luminous and transparent light supports a healthy environment of high performance learning.

As a state-of-the-art addition to the District of Columbia Public Library system, Anacostia Neighborhood Library is a symbol of commitment to education, information, and growth. This two-story, vibrant civic space was designed to serve as an engaging community anchor and gathering place. The library features separate children’s, young adult, and adult areas, as well as a large collection of print and non-print resources, many points of access to public computers and wireless stations, and multiple-sized meeting rooms.

The orientation of the site led to lighting goals of actively managing daylight, thus creating a “healthier” building which consumes less energy and allows for a direct connection to the landscape and natural cycles of light. Daylight analyses were performed to guide the design team on the size and location of skylights, the screening of clerestories and windows, and the basis from which to design the daylight harvesting system. Extensive sun angle studies were done to illustrate where and when direct sun is incident onto the stacks. In turn an automation schedule was implemented for interior shades, thermal and visual comfort, and reduction of heat gain.

Project Highlights

• LEED Gold Certified
• Daylight responsive controls
• Energy efficiency


• The Freelon Group
• R. McGhee & Associates


Project Background

• 23,000 square feet
• $14.7 million


Illuminating Engineering Society (IES)
• Lumen West Award of Merit
Architectural Lighting Design Magazine
• Special Citation Lighting Award

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