Designed by Will Bruder, the Teton County Library is a modern reinterpretation of Wyoming’s vernacular ranch buildings and the log structures that still populate the region. Bruder endows an essentially simple building with humane inventiveness and lively material presence.
The library eases gently into a Wild West landscape of rolling forested hills and snow-capped mountains. Lying on the edge of the sample town of Jackson, the site is flanked to the north by a busy road. The plan is based on two wedge-shaped volumes pushed together and enveloped by a great over-sailing pitched roof, like a big log cabin or ranch house gable. Clad in rough-sawn planking, the larger wedge contains the main public volume of the library, which is conceived as a great luminous room facing south over reading decks, lawns and a courtyard for children’s story telling. The smaller wedge, its walls rendered a deep, oxblood-red, houses the library’s backstage facilities, such as librarian’s offices and staff-rooms.
This is clearly a building well suited to its rural community, but it is also a new civic landmark that distils bold, tectonic poetry out of a utilitarian brief. Bruder’s notion of American regionalism is underscored by a romantic pragmatism that responds energetically to both users and context.