Southwest Library Construction Updates

Southwest Library Construction Updates

New Library Now Open

Exterior of the new Southwest Library

The new Southwest Library, at 900 Wesley Pl. SW, opened on Saturday, May 15. Mayor Muriel Bowser hosted an opening ceremony that was attended by elected officials and many neighborhood residents.

The building has received LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for energy efficiency and environmentally sustainable design.

The new library is an important addition to the Southwest community. It will be a place to read a book, meet with friends and host community gatherings. The modern design of the library blends seamlessly with the mid-century modern architecture for which the neighborhood is known.

DC Public Library worked with the design/build team of Perkins+Will Architects and Turner Construction for the $18 million project.

Explore the building virtually with this sneak-peek video.

New library features:

  • Environmentally sustainable design with solar panels and a green roof
  • Expanded spaces for children, teens and adults
  • Lots of natural light
  • A variety of comfortable seating options
  • Meeting room for 100+ people
  • 3 conference rooms for 12 - 20 people
  • 4 study rooms for 1- 4 people
  • Innovation Lab with the latest technology
  • Outdoor porch overlooking the adjacent park

Community Engagement

Community engagement is a vital aspect of the design process for any new library. The library hosted five community meetings throughout the design process as well as visioning sessions, focus groups, and a survey.

The Library hosted the final community meeting on Sept. 27, 2018 to share the designs, including exterior renderings and preliminary interior images.

View the meeting presentation
View the community comments.

The Library hosted a community meeting on Feb. 27, 2018 to share the design as it was progressing.
View the presentation from the meeting on February 27, 2018
View the community comments from the meeting on February 27, 2018

The Library hosted a community meeting on Dec 14, 2017
View the presentation from the meeting on December 14, 2017
View the community comments from the meeting on December 14, 2017 

The Library hosted a community meeting on Sept. 26, 2017.
The design team shared initial ideas and gathered community feedback.
View the presentation from the meeting on September 26, 2017
View the community comments from the meeting on September 26, 2017

The Library hosted the first community meeting on July 1, 2017.
Residents had the opportunity to meet the design team, learn about the project schedule and share ideas.
View the presentation from the meeting on July 11, 2017

Visioning Exercises

The design team conducted visioning exercises with the community and staff to gather ideas and inspiration for what they would like to see in their new library. See a compilation of the ideas.
Community Visioning Exercise
Staff Visioning Exercise

Focus Groups

The library hosted a series of focus groups.
Adult Focus Groups
Parent Focus Groups
Senior Focus Group

Choosing the Design Team

The Library selected Perkins+Will and Turner Construction as the design/build team for the new Southwest library. Read more about the selection process here. The building will be designed to achieve LEED Gold certification for environmental design, integrating energy and water conservation strategies and environmentally responsive materials, sourced regionally.

Questions? Please contact Martha Saccocio at