Originally the Main Library, a Carnegie town library and square that underwent a major addition in the 1960's, the goal of the project was to restore its once prominent standing as a social destination and focal point for all ages in downtown Yuma. The renovation provides 21,000sf of new library space including a large, central reading room with flanking meeting rooms of specifically programmed areas for Children, Teens and Elders, a cafe and retail space for the Friends of Yuma Library. Studio Ma created a daylighting strategy that transformed the scale and quality of the interior and exterior of the library by adding four double height light 'monitors'.
The design of this state of the art facility reflects the community's desire for a contemporary library that acknowledges its historic standing in Yuma. Local points of pride such as the Colorado River, the Gila Trail and the local tale, 'Roxaboxen' are woven into the project through physical and representational references providing a lens through which to understand the changing nature of the community. Yuma Crossing, the legacy of the Colorado River and the Santa Fe Trail in the history of Yuma inspired the plan of the library, organized along this 'crossing' in quadrants with curviliear screen walls made of coiled metal fabric designating the Teen's area and the Children's area. Studio Ma drew inspiration from 'Roxaboxen' by author Alice McLerran, a native of Yuma, Arizona, in the selection of furnishings, manipulatives, interactive lighting and a magnetic screen wall - all elements to foster interactive place making.
Yuma Heritage Library is the recipient of a 2010 AIA Honor Award.