Curved bookshelves reminiscent of beach waves, a twinkling entryway into an interactive children’s room and loads of natural light are just a few of the features that make for an inviting visit to the Joint-Use Library on Tidewater Community College’s Virginia Beach Campus.

ELLE DECOR magazine recently named the library, a partnership between the college and the City of Virginia Beach, the most beautiful library in the state.

The national decorating and design magazine recognized the Joint-Use Library for its building design and surrounding marsh ponds intended to keep wildlife in the area. The Sept. 26 article references the building’s “funky” shape as intentional, noting architects used the pre-existing shrubbery to dictate its size and shape.

“The Joint-Use Library is a warm, appealing space for both our students and community members to enjoy, whether they’re browsing for materials or studying for an exam,” said Steve Litherland, TCC’s associate vice president for libraries. “It’s a jewel on our Virginia Beach Campus.”

The 125,000-square-foot library, which opened in August 2013, serves TCC students and patrons in the community. Located on the corner of Rosemont Road and Faculty Boulevard, it has earned numerous design awards, including achieving LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. 

The library was also a recipient of the Virginia Beach Planning Commission Design Awards, which recognize creative and innovative development solutions in the built environment.

In addition, the library is a previous recipient of Engineering News Record MidAtlantic’s Award of Merit. RRMM Architects in Virginia Beach is the architect of record; Carrier Johnson + CULTURE served as the design architect; and Anderson Brulé Architects as interior designer/feasibility study architect.

In addition to a collection of more than 128,000 items, the library includes a themed children’s room, coffee shop, more than 200 computers available for public use, and private group and study areas. Comfy furniture is found throughout the $43 million building, which offers the research capacity of a college library and the materials and programming of a public library.