Westport, Connecticut

The Westport Library Environmental Design

A punctual design The Westport Library recently underwent a comprehensive “Transformation Project,” in which the building was completely re-envisioned as a multipurpose center of the community.

We were commissioned to develop an engaging environmental design, signage, and donor recognition program for the building.

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The entrance porticos feature custom extruded letterforms that spell out WESTPORT. (“West” reads toward the west, and “Port” overlooks the adjacent Saugatuck River.) The three spherical bollards help define the walkway and give a hint of what’s to come inside.

Our inspiration for the interiors came from the library's logo, developed for the library years ago by our friends at the Open design studio.

The ellipses suggest that there's more to come, and we took that as our departure point: How could we use punctuation as a technique to link up (and comment on) all the things that a library is, does, and can be?
Just inside the lower entrance, visitors are welcomed with a typographic mural. Here it is being installed.

As part of our work, we developed a comprehensive donor recognition program. The main donor wall, adjacent to the main entrance, is a book-inspired dimensional structure that incorporates the names of all contributors to the fundraising initiatives.

The "three dots" idea continues throughout the main space, offering views into the children's area on the top floor, combined with a clock that once an hour provides particular appeal to those of us who are satisfied when things align.
Okay, so not every sign is built around circles. The square donor recognition and wayfinding signs help guide visitors through the spaces in a simple, clear, and organized way.
Donors' names are applied to individual study rooms in a way that echoes the spine of a book.
The "Hub" area is the center of activity for the reimagined library. We worked in collaboration with architect Henry Myerberg and his team at HMA2 Architects to realize the space.

The library has a lot of interesting twists, turns, and corners where people and activities interact and intersect. We developed a series of signs that wrap around corners, columns, and door frames to suggest how words and ideas can meet in interesting and unexpected ways.

We developed a series of repositionable "lettering cubes" to help define spaces within the library.

We worked with HMA2 Architects to develop a set of extruded letters for the library exterior.

This work is a continuation of our ongoing collaboration with The Westport Library, where over the years we’ve developed a range of outreach and communication materials, working closely with their in-house leadership and design teams.
The punctuation theme extends throughout the building. We think this solution is particularly appropriate for this location...for a couple of reasons.



Alexander Isley
Angela Chen
Shannon Stolting

Alexander Isley

HMA2 Architects

2019 Society of Typographic Arts (STA) 100 Show award
2020 AIA Connecticut Citation-Contribution to Community Life award

Special Collections Research Center
NC State University Libraries