Carnegie Library - Hazlewood

The Hazelwood branch of the Carnegie Library system had the chance to relocate as the anchor tenant of the Hazelwood Neighborhood Center on Second Avenue in the heart of Hazelwood. The design team engaged the community in public meetings designed to understand what Hazelwood residents wanted from their new library.

The new space includes a main reading room with a large community meeting room, a lounge, a teen area, computer desks, a children’s library, and a children’s outdoor terrace. Through the implementation of an inviting site and the opportunity for green education, this project hopes to engage its neighbors while demonstrating sustainable community development.

Thoughtful Balance designed the interior tenant fit-out for the library. Graffiti-resistant fabric was used on many of the seating selections, with a focus on durability for all of the furnishings. Playful selections were made for the Children’s Library. A sculpture, commissioned by local artist, David Lewis, represents the history of the community, and is mounted on the wall of the large reading room.

The renovation followed the Passive House Retrofit Standard: this is the first library in the country designed to Passive House criteria. Accomplished on an extremely modest budget, the project provided twice the space to the library while reducing utility costs by 14% from the former location.

AIA Pittsburgh, Award of Excellence in Sustainable Design, Oct 2015


  • 14, 724 sq ft
  • Built for $37 per sq ft for library interiors
  • EUI of 24
  • Doubled the space of the library and reduced the utility bill by 14%

“I never thought it could be this nice” 

A young, tearful Hazelwood resident on opening day