North Boulder Public Library

Public Art in the works for North Boulder’s new Public Library!

An artist, or artist team, will be commissioned for site-specific public art at the forthcoming North Boulder (NoBo) Public Library. Envisioned to be a jewel in North Boulder, the library facility will be a beacon for the community, meet the City’s climate action goals, be integrated with and reflect the area’s natural surroundings.

Visit WORKac’s Design Concept Presentation:   


Five semifinalists have been selected to present proposals to the selection panel:
Daily Tous Les Jours
Sam Falls
Kimberly Garza
Patrick Marold
Joel Swanson

NoBo Library Overview

The Boulder Public Library’s Vision: Connecting people, ideas, and information to transform lives and strengthen our community. The guiding principles of the Boulder Public Library can be found online.

The City of Boulder will construct a new North Boulder Branch Library to replace and expand library services that are currently offered at the NoBo Corner Library. During the past several years, the North Boulder community has experienced significant residential and commercial growth. Construction of a full-service North Boulder Branch Library has been a community priority since 1994 and requests for a full-service library in North Boulder continue to appear in library user surveys. It is a high-priority goal in the Library Master Plan.

The new North Boulder Branch Library is being developed by the architecture firm WORKac and is estimated to be 12,000 square feet. This library will offer expanded, community-oriented services with a strong focus on the customer experience. Envisioned as a jewel in North Boulder, the library facility will be designed to meet the City’s climate action goals for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. The design uses sustainable strategies and technologies to create ‘iconic systems’ that inform the building’s architecture. The building will be integrated with and reflect the area’s natural surroundings, including an accessible green roof, a playground integrated into the building, community gardens and a large urban plaza that connects to Broadway.

Key goals of the new NoBo Library:
1. The library will have iconic and unique architecture. It should be designed to become an icon in North Boulder.
2. The library will serve the North Boulder community’s library needs through community-oriented design, flexible, multi-functional spaces, including a makerspace, and integration of local art.
3. The library will be a showcase facility for meeting Boulder’s Climate Commitment.
4. The library will provide exceptional civic and community space.

About North Boulder

North Boulder boasts the city’s only formal Arts District, serves as a gateway to Boulder, and contains a mix of uses, including a variety of housing types, retail and food establishments, offices and studios, light industrial businesses, and parks and open spaces. Since its founding, Boulder has attracted visual artists, poets, performers, writers, musicians, designers, and creative people of all kinds as a beautiful, inspiring, and supportive place to live, practice their craft, and prosper in the business of their art. The residents, workers, and business owners of the neighborhoods of North Boulder have consistently demonstrated support for the activities and impacts of a creative district, the recommendations for culture in the North Boulder Subcommunity Plan, and the Community Cultural Plan.

North Boulder has a long history, starting as an agricultural area and later developing into a neighborhood after WWII, when tracts of land were offered to returning soldiers.  North Boulder is unique to Boulder development in that it boasts a mix of density and uses. Additionally, the nearby Holiday Neighborhood was designed with sustainability and affordability in mind, providing a walkable neighborhood, public parks, and many types of residential units. The NoBo Art District, formalized by acknowledgement from the Boulder City Council in May 2017, creates opportunities for artists to connect with each other and the broader community through art, education, and events. The NoBo Art District Mission is to enrich and advance the arts in Boulder through educational activities and engagement that promote the role of artists and creatives in our community.

Project Budget

This public art opportunity has a total budget of $225,000. Although it is anticipated the contract will be given to one artist/artist team in the full amount, it could be assigned to two projects: a signature project of $175,000 – $200,000 and a more human-scale opportunity of $25,000 – $50,000. This will be determined before semifinalists are notified.

This budget amount is inclusive of all costs associated with the project, including, but not limited to, the artist’s design fee, other consultation fees such as structural engineering; insurance, including Colorado Workers Compensation; small tools; materials; fabrication; transportation and installation; any building or site modification required; travel to and from the site; per-diem expenses; project documentation; contingency to cover unexpected expenses, and any other costs of any kind. The project timeline will ideally be integrated with the NoBo Library construction timeline, with the potential for collaborative budgeting opportunities.

Tentative Timeline

Except for the online application deadline, timeline is subject to adjustments

April 17, 2019: Deadline for RFQ submissions (via CaFE system by 11:59pm MDT)

Week of May 8, 2019: Semi-finalist selection

May 15, 2019: notify Semi-finalists

May 15 – July 9, 2019: proposal development and site visits

July 10, 2019: Draft proposals due for Technical Review Committee review

Week of July 22, 2019: Semi-finalists present proposals, community engagement

August 21, 2019: Boulder Arts Commission Review

Late August 2019: Finalist Notification

Mid-2020: NoBo Public Library construction begins

Project Selection Panel

Kathleen McCormick, Community member and Boulder Arts Commissioner
Molly Winter, Community Member
Steven Frost, Community Member and Artist/Arts Professional
Ronnie Pelusio, Community Member and Arts Professional
Juana Gomez, Community Member, Arts Professional and Library Commissioner
Dan Wood, Project Architect

An advisory technical review committee composed of approximately seven people will serve as non-voting panelists. 

Selection Process

Between three to five artists/artist teams will be selected as semi-finalists, and will receive a $1,000 honorarium. Those selected will receive more specific information regarding the site and will have the opportunity to meet with the selection panel and technical review committee during a site visit. The selection panel will interview and/or review proposals from the semi-finalists and recommend finalists for the commission.

Additionally, community engagement is a vital component in Boulder’s decision-making process. Semi-finalists should be prepared to present or have their proposals presented to the public in some fashion during the decision-making process. The final recommendation of the selection panel will be presented to the Boulder Arts Commission and the city manager for final approval.