Exterior photo of the East New Orleans Regional Library.
Exterior photo of the Algiers Regional Library.
Exterior photo of the Norman Mayer Library.
Exterior photo of the Robert E. Smith Library.

New Orleans Public Libraries

Four public libraries—the East New Orleans Regional Library, Algiers Regional Library, Norman Mayer Library, and Robert E. Smith Library—replace branches that were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by Hurricane Katrina. They are anchors of a fourteen-branch library system that is heavily utilized and valued by underserved populations within the city. From the outset, the design-build team considered this project as a collective of public amenities: a civic family of libraries that respond to their immediate localities. Each library acts communally within the framework of the New Orleans Public Library system and individually in direct response to its surroundings. The libraries serve as community living rooms, providing a gathering space and informational resources for their neighborhoods. All four libraries share a common palette of simple building forms and materials—white stucco, charcoal brick and high-efficiency glazing with metal sunscreens—but the material articulation of each is conditionally unique in response to external and internal influences. The libraries have been embraced by their patrons and enlivened by a vibrant array of community programs.


New Orleans, LA
East New Orleans Regional Library Size
28,000 sq.ft.
Algiers Regional Library Size
28,000 sq.ft.
Norman Mayer Library Size
19,000 sq.ft.
Robert E. Smith Library Size
13,000 sq.ft.
New Orleans Magazine
Best New Architecture
Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc.
Award of Excellence
City of New Orleans, LA
Associate Architect
Lee Ledbetter & Associates
Design‑Build Contractor
Gibbs Construction
Tim Mueller
Multistudio asterisk