Natural Lighting is Key to Design

The last time Johnson County built a new library was in 1994, 24 years ago. And a lot has changed since then. Don’t expect to find your father’s library at our newest location.

This summer, visitors to the new Monticello Library will see a 30,467 square foot building with lots of glass walls and timeless finishes. The two-story library features floor-to-ceiling glass along three of its four sides, a modern look designed to not only let in lots of natural light, but also to attract attention from those driving by on Shawnee Mission Parkway.

Matt Glawatz, an architect with The Clark Enersen Partners – the firm who designed the new library, said the glass-heavy design makes the building look vibrant and will show all the activities going on inside, encouraging more people to use it.

“Libraries are very much about information and making sure information is relevant and current and thinking about what’s next, looking to the future,” Glawatz said. “I think the way the building expresses itself aligns with that notion of looking to the future.”

The interior design takes advantage of the flood of natural light, creating an inviting and comfortable space for visitors. Together with advanced technology, the open floor plan incorporates flexible spaces, raised floors and other design strategies so it can adapt to future uses and public needs in the coming decades.

And while the glass walls enable patrons to connect visually to the exterior landscape, a patio area on the second-floor offers an invitation to step out and enjoy the outdoors– with a book, or while enjoying the Library’s free wireless access.