When community officials decided to renovate the Cerritos Public Library in Cerritos, Calif., they wanted to create a grand library that would honor the past while embracing the future. After four years of design and construction, the result is the newly named Cerritos Millennium Library, a sleek, futuristic-looking building that blends traditional library services with state-of-the-art technology and design.
A 1986 renovation of the Cerritos Library won a national award of excellence, the highest honor given out by the American Institute of Architecture and the American Library Association, so expectations for this most recent project were high. To design the new facility, library and city officials called on Charles Walton and Associates (CWA), the Glendale, Calif.-based architecture firm that previously redesigned the library in 1986.
The three-story Millennium Library features an elaborate interior design that stretches across nearly every spectrum of history with themed rooms that define its various collections. The first floor is host to an Old World reading room reminiscent of ancient Rome, featuring rare first editions, wood paneling and a Gothic fireplace with holographic flames. The second and third floors are laid out in an ultra-modern design, filled with art deco furniture and futuristic glass sculptures.
The $40-million library offers patrons nearly 300,000 books and instant access to the World Wide Web via 200 computer work stations and 1,200 laptop-ready Internet portals. Every aspect of the Millennium Library encourages intellectual exploration, from the museum-quality exhibits scattered throughout the building to the 15,000-gallon saltwater aquarium that greets patrons at the entrance.
The 82,500-square-foot Millennium Library is one of the first titanium-clad buildings in the United States, featuring a golden skin that changes color depending on the atmospheric pressure and the angle of the sun.
“The city of Cerritos wanted a substantial, long-lasting material. We considered granite, but with the building’s unique design the 100-year titanium made the most sense,” said James Nardini, vice president at CWA. “It worked perfectly with the building’s compound curves and the subtle shifts in color that the titanium creates is a perfect metaphor for change, a concept the library felt very strongly about.”
In order to maintain the integrity of the building and ensure a long service life, a special waterproofing underlayment had to be installed under the titanium that could withstand the extreme temperatures from the California sunshine. CWA approved a Carlisle Coatings & Waterproofing (CCW) Water and Ice Protection (WIP) roofing underlayment to be installed under the metal roof sheets. “We looked at a number of underlayments and CCW’s WIP 300HT exceeded all of the necessary requirements for use under the titanium,” said Nardini. “This underlayment will allow the titanium to reach and probably exceed its expected 100-year service life.”
The 40-mil WIP 300HT is a high tensile strength, rubberized asphalt underlayment specifically designed to withstand temperatures up to 240°F. The rubberized asphalt is laminated to an impermeable polyethylene film layer, making WIP 300HT a superior waterproofing underlayment that provides dual-barrier moisture protection. “CCW’s WIP 300HT offers permanent protection and low life-cycle costs,” said Tim Eorgan, technical services manager with CCW. “This underlayment will not crack, dry out or rot, resulting in superior long-term performance.”
Before the CCW underlayment and titanium panels could be installed, a complete overhaul of the library had to take place. The entire western half of the Cerritos Library was torn down and the collections were temporarily stored in trailers. The general contractor for the project was C.W. Driver, a full-service construction firm with offices located in Los Angeles, Irvine, Ontario and San Diego.
Construction began with C.W. Driver erecting metal studs 16 inches on center, which formed the library’s new skeleton. After the metal studs were erected, Custom Metal Fabricators Inc. (CMF) from Orange, Calif., was subcontracted to install the unique wall system. CMF has been in the sheet metal business for more than 50 years and they specialize in unique wall applications such as the one at the Millennium Library.
Although not accustomed to working with titanium, CMF was quite familiar with CCW’s WIP 300HT underlayment, having used it exclusively on high-temperature applications for several years. “We use the WIP underlayment because it works extremely well and it’s so easy to install,” said Dave Duclett, vice president at CMF.
Before CMF could install the titanium cladding they had to attach 20-gauge metal sheeting to the building’s metal frame to create a smooth, flat surface for the application of CCW’s WIP underlayment. When all of the metal sheeting was attached, CMF adhered the WIP underlayment starting at the bottom of the building and working towards the top.
Because CCW’s complete line of underlayments are self adhering, CMF installed them directly to the metal sheeting without the need for additional primers, adhesives or fasteners. The self adhering WIP underlayment easily maneuvered around the library’s curved design, leaving no gaps where holes could develop.
To install the WIP underlayment, CMF simply peeled off the backing of the 67-foot by three-foot membranes and adhered them to the metal sheeting, maintaining the specified overlaps with each subsequent sheet to ensure a watertight seal.
For areas of the wall that featured penetrations such as light boxes and pipes, CMF ran the CCW underlayment onto the penetration, caulked over it, covered it with a metal flashing and installed another layer of WIP.
After the underlayment was completely installed, CMF began attaching the titanium panels. The panels were installed using a blind clip system that utilized four interlocking clips per panel, allowing them to expand and contract.
Each clip was installed directly to the wall, through the WIP underlayment, with two screws. CCW WIP 300HT membranes feature a self-sealing quality that allowed them to seal around the screws that punctured them when the clips were installed.
“The self-sealing feature on all of CCW’s underlayments is extremely beneficial,” said Tim Peterson, project manager at CMF. “Water infiltration would have a very detrimental impact on a system like this one and the self-sealing feature on CCW’s underlayments significantly reduces the likelihood of water entering the building.”
When it was time to install the titanium panels, CMF worked horizontally, completing one row before moving onto the next. Each subsequent panel concealed the clips of the previous panel, giving the titanium walls their flat, unobstructed surface appearance.
The Millennium Library, designed to set the standard for library service in the 21st century, has been voted the “best public library” by numerous publications, including Reader’s Digest and Los Angeles magazine.