Former Casino Now Is a Library that Welcomes the Entire Community

former casino, library, Fivedot
Fivedot turned a casino, which took from the community, into a library, which gives back to the community. 

Libraries are key parts of the social infrastructure in our society. One of the few remaining public spaces, libraries are places of sharing, learning and discovery. For this project, Fivedot was able to turn a casino, which took from the community, into a library, which gives back to the community. 

This was the last project of the Capital Bond Measure in which Seattle’s King County Library systems opened 17 new libraries, expanded 11 libraries and renovated 14 libraries. Because it was the last project, the budget was tight and creative solutions were needed. 

Kent Panther Lake asked for a library of its own to act not only as a place of knowledge but as a focal point for the community’s identity. 

The design team was able to repurpose an existing building which contributed to the revitalization of an area that had previously been in decline. Panther Lake is a smaller community that is part of a larger city yet is distinct both geographically and culturally. It sits on a plateau above the main city of Kent and has one of the most diverse populations in the country. The community asked for a library of its own to act not only as a place of knowledge but as a focal point for the community’s identity. 

Fivedot took a building that was closed from the outside by design and opened it up to create a light-filled oasis for the community. Large skylights flood the reading area with light while the planters bring the surrounding landscape right up to the windows to shield the view of the surrounding parking. A welcoming entry and custom touches throughout the building have created a place for learning, gathering and sharing. Custom furniture from 16th Workshop, a local furniture maker, an excellent art selection and the fabulous KCLS library staff have made this library a true home for the community of Kent Panther Lake.

Retrofit Team

Architect: Fivedot

Custom furniture from 16th Workshop, a local furniture maker, an excellent art selection and the fabulous KCLS library staff have made this library a true home for the community of Kent Panther Lake.

Client: King County Library System

Contractor: Oak Hills Construction

Electrical Engineer: Travis Fitzmaurice

Structural Engineer: Swenson Say Faget

Mechanical Engineer: Sider Byers

Landscape Consultant: Site Workshop

Interiors Consultant: Schact Aslani Architects

Photography: Cleary O’Farrell

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