Planning board approves new Pacific Highlands Ranch Library design

Sheila Burnett, deputy director of support services for the San Diego Public Library participated in outreach efforts on April 21.
Karen Dubey

The Carmel Valley Community Planning Board approved the design of the Pacific Highlands Ranch Library at its May 24 meeting.

Chair Frisco White noted that the design is the result of some good discussions on architecture and a public outreach effort at the subcommittee level.

“The final version we think is terrific,” said Jim Gabriel of Hanna Gabriel Wells Architecture. “It evolved to a really great place.”

A rendering of the new Pacific Highlands Ranch Library. Courtesy Hanna Gabriel Wells

The new 18,000-square-foot facility is planned for Village Center Loop Road, bordering civic space of the Village of Pacific Highlands Ranch. The final design complements the Village and community’s look with white walls and a standing seem metal roof in a reddish color meant to be sympathetic with the red tile roofs, Gabriel said.

Design articulations feature recessed windows, horizontal wood siding, accent tiles, ironwork and archways with rich wood doors. Below the peaked metal roof, wooden screens and lattices will work to shade and temper the interior environment and fill the space with dappled light and shadows.

A new addition unveiled at the board meeting was a modern script font lettering announcing the library’s name.

“Thank you for listening to our input,” said PHR board representative Stella Rogers, who served on the design subcommittee.

The library seeks to fill many needs with full stacks, workspaces for teens, a large community room for meetings and an Idea lab for kids with technology such as 3D printers that San Diego Public Library director Misty Jones called “a maker space on steroids.”

Jones said they have already begun meeting with the surrounding schools to address program needs and will also work with local non-profits to be a true community partner. Outside elements include landscaping with lots of trees, a quiet courtyard with a water feature and a porch-like veranda space that connects to the civic use with a variety of unique gathering spaces for adults and teens and a children’s area with whimsical synthetic turf mounds.

Gabriel said that the design is the ultimate vision for the facility and the board requested that the library return for periodical reviews as it moves through the process and there are any changes. The full design will take 14-16 months followed by advertising and bidding the project for six months. The hope is to begin construction in 2020 and open in 2021.