The Billie Jean King Main Library has received the 2020 Award of Merit from the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC). The annual program recognizes outstanding achievement and excellence in structural engineering design.
Designed as part of the 22-acre Long Beach Civic Center Master Plan in Long Beach, California, the library is built upon an existing concrete parking garage. The superstructure itself is composed of three different types of material: wood, steel, and concrete. Each material is strategically employed throughout the structure to take advantage of its respective properties. Glue-laminated timber girders with plywood decking comprise the superstructure floor system. Wood was selected not only for its architectural warmth and character but also to minimize weight applied to the existing concrete garage; minimizing weight avoided the need to retrofit columns and foundations, making the construction process more efficient and economical. The combination of different materials used in the structure of the building provides an efficient and sustainable building structure while simultaneously achieving an inviting aesthetic.
The library and other 2020 award recipients were honored during a virtual award ceremony on September 2nd. All award winners will be considered as candidates for the Structural Engineers Association of California’s statewide competition.