Two innovative modern libraries in Washington, D.C., by architect David Adjaye, re-position public libraries as energetic community centers. Both buildings have spaces that invite you to relax and read, without putting you to sleep.


William O. Lockridge Library

Energetic red enlivens one of the reading rooms in the William O. Lockridge Library.  Perhaps Adjaye studied Albert Hadley, who designed a famous red lacquered library room in the 1970’s.

Brooke Astor’s Red Lacquered Library, 778 Park Avenue, Albert Hadley
Image via lacqueredlife

Lockridge library

Lockridge library image via dezeen

There are designated spaces for different members of the family and multiple sight-lines enable parents to keep an eye on their children.

Lockridge Library

Lockridge Library image via Fast Company

The architecture accommodates the sloping he site in D.C.’s Bellevue neighborhood. An adjacent park can be viewed through large windows.

Lockridge library

Lockridge library image via


Francis Gregory Library. 

This glass and steel structure at the edge of D.C.’s Fort Davis Park is welcoming and dynamic. Natural light invites readers to come in and stay a while.

Francis George Library

Francis George Library

Fast Company notes that:

“Each quadrilateral opening is built out in timber and faced with reflective glass, creating shimmering reflections of the surrounding trees…The cantilevered overhang and reflective low-E glass earned the building a LEED Silver rating.”

Francis George Library

Francis George Library image via Fast Company

Human scale and hand-made elements (such as the lampshades) make the space feel warm and user-centered.

Francis Gregory Library

Francis Gregory Library image via Architectural Record


Leslie Saul & Associates has also worked on several libraries including the Needham Free Library, Needham, MA,  the Claire T. Carney Library at U MASS Dartmouth, and The Maxwell Library at Bridgewater State College.   See photos of these projects and more at the LS&A Behance Portfolio site.