Best New Library

Francis Gregory Library
3660 Alabama Ave. SE
Peer through the leafless woods of Fort Dupont Park on a winter day, and you might swear you’ve spotted a glassy jack-in-the-box perched on the edge of a ridge near Fairfax Village. Walk closer and you’ll see the box clad in an iridescent argyle sweater of glass, steel, and finished plywood. Designed by the British architect David Adjaye and completed in June 2012, the Francis Gregory Library is one of 14 library renovations the District finished in the past few years, earning the system a handful of architectural awards. The library’s trick is that its sweater is reversible, rewarding patrons inside with stunning sylvan views punctuated by argyle diamonds. Go for the vistas, but stay and read a book.