Forsyth County Central Library

Let there be light.

RATIO architects designed a renovation and expansion that transformed the prior Library structure into a seamless, open plan of daylight-filled spaces for the community. Dysfunctional parts of the existing buildings were demolished, functional areas were renovated and an addition was constructed that responds to the needs and program of a 21st-Century library.

Multiple studies have shown that occupants benefit from natural light and views, from students performing better on tests, employees demonstrating improved productivity to occupants reporting better moods and feeling of well-being. RATIO’s design utilizes daylighting in several spaces, and the design allows that light to penetrate deep into the interior. In order to best utilize natural light while managing energy performance, RATIO selected two Guardian Glass products:

  • Guardian SunGuard SNX 62/27 on clear glass on the building’s northeast elevation provides a high visible light transmission of 62 percent with a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.27 to maximize the amount of natural light coming into the structure, while providing transparency and connectivity, an important goal for a facility that strives to be a “hub” for the community. “Guardian SunGuard coated glass provided the right performance to meet the energy performance goals for this project, while providing abundant visible light tempered with solar heat management,” explains Kevin Huse, AIA, RATIO Principal “The glass team worked with RATIO to combine Guardian SunGuard coated glass with acid etched glass in some insulated glass units, and a 40 percent white dot frit on other IGUs. Combined with IGUs that used Guardian SunGuard® SNX 62/27 coating on clear glass, these three looks allowed us to get the coloration and tinting just right, bringing the pattern we envisioned to life on the façade.”
  • On the southwest elevation, SunGuard SNX 51/23 on clear glass glass combines a visible light transmission of 51 percent with a low solar heat gain coefficient of 0.23 on clear glass to make sure daylit spaces do not result in too much heat distracting the patrons and employees and taxing the facility’s HVAC system.

The glass was fabricated by Press Glass and installed by Pfaff’s Glass. The result is a project that has earned RATIO a 2018 Community Appearance Award from the City of Winston-Salem, and the project was also included in the 2018 Library Design Showcase.

  • Building Type


  • Location

    660 West 5th Street
    Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    United States of America

Design and Supply Team: