When Nancy Tessman, then the Executive Director of the Salt Lake City Public Library, put together the design brief for the building she envisioned “a great space within the library that could be used by the public”. Moshe Safdie took that kernel of an idea and conceived of a grand public space — a thoroughfare of sorts, and literally wrapped a building around it.
But Moshe didn’t stop there. He created a public space on the roof of the museum — an lushly landscaped outdoor reading room, reached either by climbing atop a wall that ascends from the plaza or taking a beautiful winding stair (or glass elevator!) from the top floor of the library stacks.
He created an amphithetre set below the public plaza — a sunken courtyard which could be used from the outside or the inside, and buried the parking beneath a landscaped hill to create a public lawn.
Then the community took it from there:
One of the most important goals in architecture is to create meaningful, vital and inclusive social spaces. As architects, we are responsible for shaping not only a project’s program, but also its larger civic role of enabling and enriching the community.