Kendall Library + Community Center is Houston's first and only combined public library and community center, replacing an existing, outdated neighborhood branch that no longer met the community’s needs. The diversity of stakeholders involved - The City of Houston, Houston Public Library, Houston Parks and Recreation Department, The Energy Corridor District, neighborhood residents and library and community center patrons - presented unique design challenges. We identified shared needs and elements among the stakeholders and used this data to find usage overlaps and amplify efficiencies, ultimately leading to more mileage for fewer square feet of construction. A careful parking evaluation considered peak use of the disparate user groups, often occurring at different times of day. The result made way for a larger building, offering more community amenities, and a reduced size parking area. Beneath the parking lot resides the City of Houston's first rainwater harvesting system. 42,600 gallons of rainfall are reclaimed and used to irrigate the project's native and adapted landscape, as well as reduce the rate of runoff for this site, further abating the potential for local flooding.

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  • 30,000 ft²
  • $8.2M construction budget
  • LEED Silver Certified
  • 42,600 gallons of subsurface rainwater retention harvested for garden irrigation
  • 282,400 gallons of subsurface rainwater detention allows for more efficient site utilization
  • Replaced outdated neighborhood branch library that no longer met community's needs