This public library in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA was designed by the practice of OPN Architects after it was flooded in June 2008 causing damage to the building and materials that was beyond repair.
The flood went through the Midwestern side of the city and the library was filled with eight feet of water so the city commissioned the design of a new structure. The city wanted a building that would follow three main principles, namely to become a cultural center of the city, to have a contemporary design that incorporates the technology of the 21st century and to reduce the environmental impact as well as the maintenance costs of the project.
The floors area integrated with the urban environment through large expanses of glass from floor to ceiling so that there is sufficient natural light coming inside and the pedestrians can witness the activity inside. Aside from the library there is a 200 seat auditorium on the second and third floors with a view toward the public square.