McAllen Public Library

McAllen, TX

Architect: MS&R Architecture

After Walmart abandoned one of its retail stores in McAllen, Texas, the city decided to reuse the structure as a new main library. The primary challenge of reusing the building was to create a highly functional, flexible library of 124,500 square feet on a single level. This area is equivalent to nearly 2 1/2 football fields, making the new library the largest single-story library in the U.S.. The custom ceiling consists of 316 individual 4’x4’ laser cut wood panels, incorporating a flowing design that reflects the beauty of the surrounding landscape and the seasonal migratory patterns of native birds.

Photography: Lara Swimmer Photography

The laser cut wood wall at the entry folds into a ceiling plane that runs the length of the building, forming a central service spine that guides patrons.

The laser cut wood ceiling provides a beautiful, warm and wayfinding corridor.