Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library

Daylight reveals form by leveraging light at every angle.

The Tenley-Friendship Branch Library is a glowing icon of learning, bringing a new style of exciting, inviting and technologically advanced additions to the DC Public Library System. Electric and daylighting designs have been fully integrated to create a “healthier” building that uses daylight as the primary source of illumination, maximizing sustainability and reducing maintenance needs.

Various studies were conducted on the angle of the exterior fins and the size of the perforations in order to optimize reflected light. Inside the building, electric lights are closely integrated with the structural system and window orientation, allowing them to dim in response to the natural light and create a comfortable and more realistic environment. The daylighting team specified and commissioned all lighting controls, including the daylight harvesting system.

Project Highlights

• LEED Gold Certified
• Sun angle studies
• Bow-tie skylight


• The Freelon Group
• R. McGhee & Associates


Project Background

• 21,472 square feet
• $10.2 million


Illuminating Engineering Society (IES)
• Illumination Award of Merit
Architectural Lighting Design Magazine
• Commendable Achievement Award

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