New York Public Library’s $200 Million Renovation Is Not What You’d Anticipate


A house away from house to tens of millions of New Yorkers of all ages, the New York Public Library stays a kind of traditional establishments on the coronary heart of town. To today, it’s maybe greatest recognized for the enduring Beaux-Arts façade of its Stephen A Schwarzman flagship location, constructed by Carrère and Hastings within the late 1800s. Although as of this week, the placing renovation of the neighboring outpost on fortieth Avenue and Fifth Avenue—previously generally known as the Mid-Manhattan Library—is a severe new contender.

On June 1 a ribbon-cutting ceremony unveiled the brand-new Stavros Niarchos Basis Library to the general public. The $200 million transformation contains 180,000 sq. ft of house with a rise in public seating areas, a complete flooring devoted to youngsters, a brand new enterprise heart, a studying heart, and final however undoubtedly not least: a brand new rooftop terrace.

Guests are greeted by a pink carpet upon entry. 

Courtesy NYPL,photograph by John Bartelstone

Earlier than embarking on the mission, Dutch architect Francine Houben from the agency Mecanoo (liable for the renovation of the historic Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C.) made positive to do in depth analysis on the previous house. Interviewing employees, surveying the general public, and analyzing library knowledge utilization made it clear that a lot of the earlier format was underused and sunlight-deficient.

The brand new renovation opens up the house with a 43-foot-high atrium upon entry. The rooftop is open to the general public, with a glass-enclosed convention heart, cafe, and backyard terrace simply in time for summer season. Different thrilling new additions embrace a podcasting studio on the ground for kids and teenagers, and a studying heart for grownup training courses. 

The brand new “Wizard Hat” roof addition, illuminated at night time. 

Courtesy NYPL,photograph by John Bartelstone

Regardless of the strikingly trendy renovation, most of the particulars tie the constructing again to its Beaux-Arts origins. The brand new slanting “Wizard Hat” roof construction, for example, attracts from the copper Mansard roofs integral to the Beaux-Arts interval and mimics these incessantly seen round Midtown. Within the inside, affect reveals in means of travertine marble wall cladding and bronze cabinets, carrying the historic NYPL aesthetic into the brand new age. 

“All of us on the Stavros Niarchos Basis are actually honored to have been requested to contribute to this nice mission for town and the individuals of New York and past,” Andreas Dracopoulos, co-president of the Stavros Niarchos Basis, tells AD. He calls the constructing “a really public house, accessible to all, on the entrance line of additional empowering NYPL to ship its mission of offering lifelong studying to all and strengthening our sense of group.”

Though some elements of the constructing stay closed as a result of COVID restrictions, guests can now head to the primary 5 flooring to take a look at a number of the 400,000 books housed within the new house. 

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