Bel Air Library


Bel Air, MD


Civic & Cultural

Project Type


The Town of Bel Air, Maryland contracted MW Studios to renovate the children’s wing of their public library. The space is approximately 9,700 SF and consisted of a double-story atrium at the entrance, a large space for book stacks, and an elevated level that was used for book stacks and a multi-purpose room. The space had not been renovated in decades and so the goal of the design team was to create a welcoming and whimsical space that would be inviting to children. Early in the process it was decided to create distinct spaces that children and parents could visit to either read at or engage in different learning activities. The areas used for activities were exhibits designed to mimic historic buildings and spaces found around Harford County, Maryland. The resulting theme was a small town neighborhood surrounded by the outdoor park of the book stack areas. Major design elements include a large artificial tree at the atrium with a path in the middle that children can walk through, a pergola under which theatre performances can be put on, a general store, blacksmith, post office, train station, and water mill, all of which have activities prepared for kids to play with. In addition to the new exhibits and books, a technology counter with computers and tablets was included as well.

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