Palo Alto High School Library Modernization

  • area / size 37,700 sqft
  • Completed 2019
  • HED designed the modernization of the Palo Alto High School Library to support and provide space for various school programs in Palo Alto, California.

    Built in the 1960s, the former library was disjointed, dark, and inefficient. HED modernized the 37,700 square foot building, which now houses four distinct program areas: the library, an adjacent gallery, college and career counseling, and guidance services. Wood paneling and modern furnishings were introduced to add warmth and softness, unifying the interior and contributing to the perception of the new library as a cohesive space.

    A new mezzanine level with a dramatic spiral staircase now divides the space and displays the library’s old and rare books collections, previously in storage. Large windows and skylights were added to fill the interior with natural light, and acoustical panels quiet the previously loud, echoing space. Storage has been relocated, and in its place are silent study rooms, project rooms for individual and group work, and cozy, cushioned alcove reading nooks support a variety of work modes and styles.

    Architect: HED
    Photography: Tim Maloney