Combining the intimacy of a local community public library with the ambitions of a state-of-the-art center for cultural arts, the goal for the new 31,000-square-foot facility is to create a place of civic importance and social engagement—one that prompts intellectual curiosity and creativity while reinforcing a local civic identity.
The design further seeks to show how a public place can be created with transcendent allure, which is as important today as it was in the early 20th century, when Carnegie-funded libraries rose as beacons of opportunity in cities across the country.
Beyond providing traditional library services, the Center includes an art gallery, a café, art classrooms, a black box theater and outdoor amphitheater. Programs range from the simplest of crafts to the finest of fine arts; creative writing workshops, painting classes, jewelry making classes and sculpture classes are just a few examples of the ways that the new center offers a wealth of opportunities to explore and understand art. The Creative Studio offers professional instruments and software to edit and produce music and with a green screen room for making video. The amphitheater hosts local musicians, movie nights and a multitude of community groups, while the black box theater is home to a local theatrical company.
“As a true embodiment of a ‘modern library,’ the Sewell Mill Library and Cultural Center, Marietta, GA, has staked its claim as a hub of ‘knowledge, diversity, art, and technology,’ a combined 31,000 square feet with a Maker space, a black box theater, and a green screen video production studio.”