Design Strategy

Before inviting any building or design professionals to submit proposals for the project, the board worked with a strategic communications consultancy to develop a high-level design strategy for the new library so we could:

  • Clearly articulate and communicate the overarching vision for the look, tone, feel, function and flow of the building
  • Make sound decisions efficiently, working in lock step from a unified position
  • Avoid costly rounds with various vendors and consultants throughout the process
  • Present a professional strategic design vision to potential investors

The library serves people of all ages and needs:


Remote workers
Self-employed people
Community groups
Year-round and summer residents
Program attendees

Our design principles are:

Human-centered, not book-centered
Thoughtful space planning and helpful navigation that prioritize people over books will ensure a productive workplace for staff and a positive experience for visitors.

Outdoors indoors
An abundance of natural light will help breathe life into the space and cultivate a healthy environment. Incorporate plenty of plants and greenery, both outdoors and indoors.

Surprise and delight
Spark creativity and inspire discovery with special, unexpected details throughout the space.

Flexible and versatile
Employ multi-functional design elements and furnishings to cater to ever-changing community needs. Consider things like retractable walls, glass garage door partitions, shelving on castors, modular workstations, etc.

Curated and connected
Create distinct, thoughtful, and digitally-equipped spaces for every type of user so that they may feel connected to themselves, to one another, and to the world around them.

Future forward
Select sustainable materials, maximize efficient energy sources, and make environmentally responsible choices inside and outside the building.

Have questions? Contact the Skaneateles Library Board of Trustees at