Core Sample: Layers of Time | A conceptual exploration to integrate Landscape, History and Culture informs material choices for signage and locations for cultural and historical storytelling. The building can be seen as a core sample of time, laid on its side, with the oldest, foundational side beginning at the street near the ancient oak tree and ending with the new garden at the children’s end. | The core sample below measures two things: history of the library and history of the soil. Both core samples share the same increments of space although each is a different measure of time. | Milwaukie’s history is represented by a timeline of the Ledding Library. Key points of history are represented by a light blue line slicing through the building. | The location of the blue line can locate an expression of that moment in history. The library’s physical place is represented by a core sample of earth beginning with basalt and ending with fertile soil and a fresh green sprout.

  • Architrave is a typeface created at The Felt Hat. It draws its inspiration from ancient, stone-carved letter forms and how light and shadow play across the surface of these carvings. Its forms are humanist in nature, but contemporary in their final expression.

  • The Milwaukie Ledding Library is situated at the edge of a bucolic duck pond a few blocks from the town center. The architect and library staff went to great lengths to design the footprint around existing trees. The site is defined by an endeared legacy oak that is referenced throughout the primary stack signage. A sapling in the children library, a young tree in teens and full-size oak in the main library. Secondary signage is composed of magnetic wooden blocks that can be reconfigured as information changes.

  • Donors are recognized in white foil-stamping on the spines of clothbound books displayed on a powder-coated steel shelf. Each book contains a bookplate with a thought provided by the donor. The donor display is completed with a wall-sized illustration of the giant oak tree defining the site.


    Michael Jones
    Jeremy Bittermann