Project File: Inspired design

Sept. 1, 2003
Rose and Alex Pilibos School, Los Angeles

The library and gymnasium project design at the Rose and Alex Pilibos School, Los Angeles, was inspired by the biblical story of Noah's ark. For this project, the ark finds its form in a floating library.

The 3,000-square-foot library houses 9,000 Armenian- and English-language books, a reading room, a children's storytelling nook, an online research area and a librarian's office. It is a steel structure with a wood frame, fiber-cement shingling, laminated glass and interior plywood sheathing. An inspired ceiling that resembles an ark turned upside down covers the reading room and stacks.

The 14,000-square-foot gym includes regulation high school basketball and volleyball facilities, bleacher seating for 275 people, a student store, an exercise room, locker rooms, restrooms, coaches' offices, a maintenance shop and equipment storage. It is a prefabricated, metal building system with translucent wall panels, oversized pivot doors, and a concrete retaining wall and bleacher foundation.

The library hovers above the gymnasium roof and connects to a four-story classroom building and the two-story main classroom building. A stair at the western edge leads from the Ark Library onto a roof garden on top of the gym.

The architect for this project is Studio Works (Los Angeles).

For more information on these projects and others, visit

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