The New York Public Library, Battery Park City

New York, NY

2010

Battery Park City is built on a 92-acre landfill on the southwestern tip of Manhattan. It was conceived in the 1960s as a vision of an urban future. Today it is a commercial and residential neighborhood with a strong presence of public art, parks, and memorials. This library, anchoring of one of the city’s greenest residential high-rises, is an accessible and inviting public resource for the neighborhood’s 9,000 residents. As a new branch without an ingrained pattern of community use, it was critical for the design to establish a presence that would attract visitors. Open, bright spaces create a welcoming environment for the public, and the user-friendly layout is easy to navigate. The folded planes of the ceiling guide the visitor’s eye through the library, and physically and visually unify the entire space. The most eco-friendly of the New York Public Library branches, the project utilizes numerous sustainable design strategies and is LEED Gold certified.

© Michael Moran/OTTO

The New York Public Library, Battery Park City

New York, NY

2010

The residential high-rise building was under construction when we began designing the library. We worked closely with the base building’s developer and design team to maximize the transparency of the facade. Enabling views into the bright, colorful interior helps draw the community into the library.

© Michael Moran/OTTO

The library operates primarily as a self-service system requiring the layout to be easy to navigate and exceptionally user-friendly.  Wayfinding throughout both floors is intuitive due to visual cues and the use of color.

© Michael Moran/OTTO

The space allotted by the building’s developer was awkward in its spatial arrangement, divided into three distinct areas – an entry area, first floor space, and mezzanine. A dynamic ceiling physically and visually unifies the three zones and its folding planes guide the eye through the library. The folds in the ceiling plane also flexibly accommodate the base building’s mechanical infrastructure.

© Michael Moran/OTTO

The central staircase is celebrated rather than hidden, encouraging users to explore both levels of the branch. Part functional and part sculptural, the terrazzo-finished steel and concrete stair conveys a durable and monolithic image, which is offset by the negative space underneath it where an inviting, colorful bench resides.

© Michael Moran/OTTO

A key factor in the design of this branch was bringing direct natural light into all of the regularly occupied spaces. The quality of this light is enhanced by the use of glass with glare control, making the spaces more pleasant to read in.

© Eduard Hueber/ArchPhoto

We carefully considered the life cycle of all materials used. We selected many materials that have a high percentage of recycled content. For example, the wood flooring was repurposed from a window frame manufacturer’s off-cuts.

© Michael Moran/OTTO

A public library has a myriad of roles within its community making it one of the community’s most important cultural resources and a source of pride. The architecture of this project provides a modern, inviting public resource for the children, adolescents, and adults of the community.

© Michael Moran/OTTO

The open floor plan encourages everyone to be a part of the branch’s programs, exposing visitors to activities that they otherwise might not experience.

© Michael Moran/OTTO

The multipurpose room provides space for diverse community activities including lectures, meetings, and book readings. The acoustically treated ceiling and its location on the mezzanine level minimize the impact of large group gatherings on quiet reading areas.

© Michael Moran/OTTO

The Library received LEED Gold Certification for its sustainable design.  The energy-efficient lighting strategy provides all regularly occupied spaces with direct natural light and utilizes low energy fixtures.  Recycled and sustainable materials are used throughout the facility.  The branch’s power consumption is measured and offset by energy generated in remote locations using sustainable sources like wind, solar, and hydroelectricity.

© 1100 Architect

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© Eduard Hueber/ArchPhoto

The New York Public Library, Battery Park City

New York, NY

2010

© Michael Moran/OTTO

Battery Park City is built on a 92-acre landfill on the southwestern tip of Manhattan. It was conceived in the 1960s as a vision of an urban future. Today it is a commercial and residential neighborhood with a strong presence of public art, parks, and memorials. This library, anchoring of one of the city’s greenest residential high-rises, is an accessible and inviting public resource for the neighborhood’s 9,000 residents. As a new branch without an ingrained pattern of community use, it was critical for the design to establish a presence that would attract visitors. Open, bright spaces create a welcoming environment for the public, and the user-friendly layout is easy to navigate. The folded planes of the ceiling guide the visitor’s eye through the library, and physically and visually unify the entire space. The most eco-friendly of the New York Public Library branches, the project utilizes numerous sustainable design strategies and is LEED Gold certified.

© Michael Moran/OTTO

The residential high-rise building was under construction when we began designing the library. We worked closely with the base building’s developer and design team to maximize the transparency of the facade. Enabling views into the bright, colorful interior helps draw the community into the library.

© Michael Moran/OTTO

The library operates primarily as a self-service system requiring the layout to be easy to navigate and exceptionally user-friendly.  Wayfinding throughout both floors is intuitive due to visual cues and the use of color.

© Michael Moran/OTTO

The space allotted by the building’s developer was awkward in its spatial arrangement, divided into three distinct areas – an entry area, first floor space, and mezzanine. A dynamic ceiling physically and visually unifies the three zones and its folding planes guide the eye through the library. The folds in the ceiling plane also flexibly accommodate the base building’s mechanical infrastructure.

© Michael Moran/OTTO

The central staircase is celebrated rather than hidden, encouraging users to explore both levels of the branch. Part functional and part sculptural, the terrazzo-finished steel and concrete stair conveys a durable and monolithic image, which is offset by the negative space underneath it where an inviting, colorful bench resides.

© Eduard Hueber/ArchPhoto

A key factor in the design of this branch was bringing direct natural light into all of the regularly occupied spaces. The quality of this light is enhanced by the use of glass with glare control, making the spaces more pleasant to read in.

© Michael Moran/OTTO

We carefully considered the life cycle of all materials used. We selected many materials that have a high percentage of recycled content. For example, the wood flooring was repurposed from a window frame manufacturer’s off-cuts.

© Michael Moran/OTTO

A public library has a myriad of roles within its community making it one of the community’s most important cultural resources and a source of pride. The architecture of this project provides a modern, inviting public resource for the children, adolescents, and adults of the community.

© Michael Moran/OTTO

The open floor plan encourages everyone to be a part of the branch’s programs, exposing visitors to activities that they otherwise might not experience.

© Michael Moran/OTTO

The multipurpose room provides space for diverse community activities including lectures, meetings, and book readings. The acoustically treated ceiling and its location on the mezzanine level minimize the impact of large group gatherings on quiet reading areas.

© 1100 Architect

The Library received LEED Gold Certification for its sustainable design.  The energy-efficient lighting strategy provides all regularly occupied spaces with direct natural light and utilizes low energy fixtures.  Recycled and sustainable materials are used throughout the facility.  The branch’s power consumption is measured and offset by energy generated in remote locations using sustainable sources like wind, solar, and hydroelectricity.

© Eduard Hueber/ArchPhoto

Publications

Related News

Similar Projects

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