Palmetto Library / Houser Walker Architecture


© Liam Strain

© Liam Strain
  • Architects: Houser Walker Architecture
  • Location: 9111 Cascade Palmetto Hwy, Palmetto, GA 30268, United States
  • Lead Architects: Gregory Walker, David Esterline
  • Area: 10500.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Liam Strain
  • Mepfp Engineering: Johnson Spellman Associates
  • Structural Engineering: Sykes Consulting Engineers
  • Landscape Architecture: The Jaeger Company
  • Client: Atlanta – Fulton Public Library System

© Liam Strain

© Liam Strain

Text description provided by the architects. The Palmetto Library is a new, $3.5M facility serving the communities of Palmetto and Chattahoochee Hills in a largely rural but developing region just outside of Atlanta, GA.


© Liam Strain

© Liam Strain

Our design for the library takes inspiration from local vernacular structures and, in particular, a nearby large agricultural barn. We were inspired by the barn’s presence in the landscape, it’s interior volume, and material presence. As we began considering our design and its response to the local terrain and climate, we saw the barn as a befitting formal prototype. In response to the program needs, we took the volumetric profile of the existing structure and sliced it into quarters, with each section containing one portion of the full program. Through a subsequent series of adjustments to its volume, views, winds, and daylight, each “box” was adjusted, rotated, and openings inserted. Filling the space between the “boxes” are a sky-lit entry sequence and building services. The resulting composition recalls the profile of the barn while transforming it into a presence more suited to a public structure.


Courtesy of Houser Walker Architecture

Courtesy of Houser Walker Architecture

Floor plan

Floor plan

Courtesy of Houser Walker Architecture

Courtesy of Houser Walker Architecture

Each ‘box’ contains a portion of the overall program. The adult and children’s resource areas will act as large reading rooms, with ceilings soaring to 18+ feet and carefully controlled natural light filtering through the space. A community meeting room occupies one ‘box’ and the back of house staff workplaces another.


North/South section

North/South section

East/West section

East/West section

Exterior materials include a composite siding rain screen, zinc roofing, corrugated cor-ten steel, and siding to recall the original barn. Each ‘box’ is painted a slightly different color and paired with a different regional wood at the interior. The structure is certified LEED Silver.


© Liam Strain

© Liam Strain