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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Friday, Jun. 16, 2017 1 month ago

Meet Sir David Adjaye – the man designing the new Winter Park library

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Residents will get a chance to meet Sir David Adjaye, of Adjaye Associates, at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 20, at the Rachel D. Murrah Civic Center.
by: Tim Freed Staff Writer

He designed the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. He designed a home for actor Ewan McGregor. He designed the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver. He’s done work in Europe, Asia and Africa. 

And his next project: Winter Park’s new library. 

Residents will get a chance to meet Sir David Adjaye, of Adjaye Associates — the man behind the design of the new Winter Park Public Library — at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 20, at the Rachel D. Murrah Civic Center. There, residents will be able to share their input on what the city’s new house for books will look like. 

“Winter Park’s vision for this project truly embraces the continued evolution of the library in the 21st century,” Adjaye said. “With a diverse program that recognizes it as a critical piece of cultural infrastructure, this will be a dynamic space for shared education, recreation and interaction. I am thrilled to be working with the city on a design that I hope can become a true beacon for its neighborhood, with resonance for the entire community.” 

Adjaye started his company in 2000 and has offices in London and New York. His work has garnered him numerous accolades, including being named one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People.” 

According to his firm’s website: “Adjaye Associates believes that architecture presents opportunities for transformation — materially, conceptually and sociologically. Driven by the desire to enrich and improve daily life, the practice’s buildings are designed to meet the diverse needs of the communities they serve. Inspiration is drawn from many influences around the world and the work clearly articulates this enthusiasm for issues of place and identity.” 

Adjaye Associates also will be working with HuntonBrady Architects, with Adjaye’s firm taking the lead on the design. 

Winter Park knows the prestigious résumé that Adjaye brings, making him the perfect fit for designing a special building. 

“We’re incredibly fortunate to have somebody of his stature to consider this,” Mayor Steve Leary said. “Talk about creating an asset, a structure, a building, a property for future generations designed by one of the greatest architects of our time. How special is that?” 

The design phase for the library is a welcome sight for the city. A yearlong legal battle over the location of the new library caused delays. It began during the March 15, 2016 election, when the bond referendum to allow the city to finance the project passed narrowly with 5,416 votes in favor and 5,202 opposed. 

A group of residents — a political action committee — challenged that the city didn’t properly notice the intended location of where the library would be built, which eventually put the issue in front of a judge. 

It wasn’t until Dec. 7 when Orange County Judge Margaret Schreiber issued a final judgment that validated the city’s desire to finance a $30 million bond to fund the demolition of the city’s existing civic center and construction of a new municipal complex including a new events center, library and parking garage — all within Martin Luther King Jr. Park. 

A second legal action taken by the political action committee was later dismissed. 

Design work for the new library/civic center is expected to start this month. 

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