Dr. Shannon Walker Neighborhood Library

Owner: City of Houston
Architect: BRAVE/architecture


In the Westbury community of Houston, the new Dr. Shannon Walker Neighborhood Library is more than just a building filled with books — it is a hub of knowledge, innovation and community engagement. SpawGlass-Houston teamed up with the City of Houston, Houston Public Library and BRAVE/architecture to create a state-of-the-art facility that will inspire creativity and offer community members access to a wealth of cutting-edge resources.


Named after NASA astronaut Dr. Shannon Walker, who was raised in the Westbury neighborhood and is renowned for her contributions to space exploration, the library is a testament to the remarkable achievements of one of Houston’s own. Dr. Walker’s journey from Westbury to the stars illustrates the limitless potential that exists within every individual, and the library will serve as a legacy to her passion for education.


One of the standout features of the new library is its emphasis on technology and modern learning environments. Houston Public Library’s innovative TECHLink program has equipped the library with several tech spaces that feature the latest in digital technology. These spaces include a podcasting studio, a video production studio, multimedia rooms, and a recording studio complete with instruments and mixing equipment. Access to these resources will enable patrons to engage with technology in ways previously inaccessible to the public, encouraging creativity and imagination at all ages and skill levels. Whether it’s coding workshops for kids, digital art classes or providing access to high-speed internet and advanced software, these tech spaces are designed to prepare the community for the digital age.


Other unique elements of the 23,000-square-foot facility include a café with refreshments, several computer stations, a teen lounge and a children’s play area. Co-working pods and quiet study spaces offer multiple options for individual or collaborative productivity. And don’t forget the books! Like its traditional predecessors, the library also contains a large assortment of fiction and non-fiction books, movies and other resources available for patrons to browse or borrow.


The architectural design of the building is a blend of modern aesthetics and functional spaces, with the inventive installation of abstract lighting, artistic design elements and dynamic angles throughout the building. Multicolored windows cast vibrant hues throughout the interior spaces at different times of the day, enhancing the overall ambiance and making each visit a unique experience. A cleverly designed lounge area can be quickly transformed by rolling out hidden glass pocket doors, dividing and converting the open space into multiple meeting rooms. The building’s visually intriguing exterior features a curtain wall system, glazed assembly and multi-faceted metal panel façade.


Project Manager Janet Perez expressed her enthusiasm for the project: “Building the Dr. Shannon Walker Neighborhood Library has been an incredibly rewarding experience. This library is not just a building; it’s a community landmark that will inspire future generations. We are honored to contribute to a project that holds such significant meaning for the Westbury neighborhood and beyond.”


The success of this project was truly the result of an incredible team effort and a shared determination to turn the City of Houston’s vision into reality. Inspired by its namesake, the Dr. Shannon Walker Neighborhood Library is a place where future generations can dream big and achieve their goals — where the sky is not the limit, but only the beginning.