An historic grammar school expands into an economic anchor for a commercial corridor.


Milpitas Library

Milpitas, CA

The design of the Milpitas Library brings together old and new architecture in celebration of each other. The neoclassical style of the historic grammar school building communicates civic strength and stability, while the open, glass-faced addition invites exploration and communicates diversity and inclusiveness. A new tensile roof transforms the grammar school’s open courtyard into a bright periodicals reading room that retains a sense of connection to the outdoors. For users, the experience is seamless, including clear wayfinding and a logical organization that supports efficient operations and excellent customer service.

As the first major project in the Midtown revitalization area, the new library anchors and provides a visual terminus for the North Main Street corridor. The form and massing of the library, its use of materials and light, and its relationship to the street and new plaza spaces set the tone for subsequent civic, commercial, and residential development along the corridor, which has breathed new life into this formerly blighted area.


  • Client: City of Milpitas
  • Scope: Adaptive reuse + expansion
  • Status: Complete
  • Photography: Steve Whittaker


  • Merit Award – AIA East Bay

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