One For The Books: Reimagining the Missouri City Branch Library

May 17, 2021

A New Chapter Originally founded in Missouri City, a suburb southwest of Houston in 1992, the 18,458-square-foot Missouri City Branch Library was due for expansion to keep up with the growing community it served. It was also overdue for some high-tech updates to keep up with the digital age. Local voters approved funding for the expansion and renovation of the library in a 2015 bond election, with plans that included a three-story, 11,009-square-foot addition, with a soaring balcony, study rooms, a computer lab, self-service checkout machines and more.

Merriman Holt Powell Architects (MHPA) was chosen to design and manage the update. "Our office did the original building in 1991, and we were asked back by the county to do the expansion," said Michelle Carter, principal with Merriman Holt Powell. MHPA’s design brings the nearly 20-year-old library into the 21st century, with a sharp, triangular three-story addition boldly pointing due east.

Acute Approach "The site defined the shape of the addition," explained Carter. Phase II of the library was meant to create an iconic new library image. "The county wanted the addition to be a beacon for the public, so they could see the library and the overall county complex."

The Entyre Idea The design team selected CENTRIA’s Intercept Entyre panels due to their smooth, unbroken appearance – adding to the sleek, isometric style of the exterior design. But that’s not all. “There are a lot of good reasons for a public entity to choose products like Intercept,” said Selig. Intercept Entyre is large and flexible, capable of creating angular shapes like the triangular addition required by MHPA’s design. The large module sizes provide sleek, unmatched edge-to-edge widths. Selig also explained that with no plastic cores, the panel is environmentally friendly and safely recyclable at the end of its life cycle.