Consulting Engineering

Charlotte Mecklenburg Main Library

Charlotte-Mecklenburg County GovernmentCharlotte, North Carolina

CMTA has teamed with Snohetta and Clark Nexsen to create a modern, inviting library in Charlotte. This engaging space is designed to serve as a public commons, as well as a technologically advanced library. The new 115,000 square foot Charlotte Mecklenburg Main Library is designed to enhance learning opportunities and improve economic mobility. It will preserve a rich history while providing a complete transformation to suit the evolving needs of the region. The project broke ground in 2021 and is scheduled for completion in 2024.

Before the design process began, a public planning process engaged library patrons and community leaders to envision a building program that balances traditional library offerings with a greater capacity for gatherings and social interactions. Each floor of the library is designed with a specific thematic focus and equipped with advanced technology capabilities to meet the growing demand for digital materials.

The library design is based on sustainable principles, including energy-efficient lighting, heating, air conditioning, and flooring, as well as green furnishings and fixtures with a low environmental impact. With a vertical design on a smaller footprint than the previous library, the facility will have five levels above ground and one below, two outdoor terraces, an active lobby with a community forum and immersive theater, a café, flexible meeting spaces, and more.

The lobby on the main level will set the stage for the library’s role as a public commons, serving as an integral connector to resources within the library and featuring self-service checkpoints and reading zones. A prominent wall will display an art installation as part of the public art program for the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. On the lower level, visitors will find pre-function and event space available for gatherings, meetings, and other public co-working needs.