San Mateo Public Library

San Mateo Public Library, San Mateo, California, USA

A "retail" library designed for the future

The award-winning San Mateo Public Library is a new, technologically-advanced library whose design evolved out of an extensive public workshop process where EHDD solicited input from the community about the building’s massing, the quality of interior and exterior spaces, and concerns about noise levels. The library’s LEED® Gold design satisfied the desire of the community while presenting a strong civic image and establishing a new landmark in downtown San Mateo.

Upon entering, patrons can see to all levels of the building with an information booth supplementing any direction needs. The building’s form undulates inward to preserve an existing redwood grove, which is visible from the mezzanine level through tall windows. On the second floor, a two-story central reading room further aids in ease of orientation and brings daylight into the building’s center from high clerestory windows, offering a comfortable space for visitors to read, study and convene.

The service approach of the library is modeled after a retail bookstore rather than a traditional public library. Display areas featuring new books and topical collections are arranged throughout, and staff circulates through the building, offering assistance to patrons. The most current technologies are utilized, including raised-access floors, a mechanized book storage system, electronic checkout, and wireless technology to accommodate the patrons with the best service available. 


Size : 93,000 sq. ft.

2008 LEED-NC Gold

US Green Building Council

2008 Green Business Certification Achievement

Association of Bay Area Governments

2007 Savings by Design

Pacific Gas & Electric

2007 Award of Excellence

First Certified Green Business within San Mateo County, San Mateo Chamber of Commerce

2007 Green Building Award

San Mateo Chamber of Commerce

2007 Green Building Award

Sustainable San Mateo County

2007 Certificate of Recognition

California State Senate (for receiving 2007 Green Building Award)

California State Assembly (for receiving 2007 Green Building Award)

2007 Commendation

Board of Supervisors, County of San Mateo, State of California

2006 Community Impact Award

San Francisco Business Times   

2006 Merit Award for Green Building

California Construction, “Best of 2006” 

2006 Merit Award for Civic Building

California Construction, “Best of 2006”




San Francisco

500 Treat Ave #201
San Francisco, CA 94110

(415) 285-9193