The St. Louis Central Library closed the great bronze doors to its downtown Central Library in 2010 for a two-year restoration and renewal of the historic 1912 Cass Gilbert designed building.
Project architects at Cannon Design asked KLI to join the team shortly before the building closed to the public for the renovation. During this time, KLI developed the environmental graphics throughout the building. Wall coverings, paint, glass treatments and dimensional type enhance the Library’s existing architectural features indoors while graphics on the new exterior fountain at the transformed Locust Street entrance hint at the lovely surprises that await inside. The landmark building reopened in late 2012 and has received many accolades for the beauty and usability of the space.
Taking cues from historic and new architectural elements, KLI developed dimensional type, glass treatments, paint and colorful wall coverings designed to inform and delight library patrons of all ages.
Patterns were carefully created inspired by the buildings’ original adornment and repurposed as a wayfinding method through each of the four levels of the building. Typography of large and small scale, color of selectively subtle or blissfully bold presence, and a variety of materials were used to delight visitors with whit and whimsy while helping them find what they are looking for.