New York Public Library

New York Public Library

An international competition to develop concepts for the transformation of the main 5th Avenue and 42nd Street building into a new Central Library, fully integrated for research and lending.

With a splendid building in a unique setting, the project demanded something great, major and grand, where the new should complement and sit comfortably with the old. Underpinning the proposals was the introduction of a new circulating library into the building. The new integrated Central Library would be radically improved with a broad diversity of public services including instant information, browsing, quiet reading and exhibitions as well as being a fantastic and exciting place to visit.

Designs for the new Central Library respected and enhanced the historical character and tradition of the building while responding to present and future demands in creating a seamless progression of space. Combining old and new, traditional and modern library facilities would interweave, building on the Library’s unique sense of identity and ethos.

Facilitated by the consolidation of existing estate buildings, proposals created extended space which took full advantage of the building’s central location in the city. Concentrating resources in one place and unifying two parts of the Library created a huge potential to maximise public use of the landmark building.

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