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The library was needed to serve the rapidly growing Hunters Point Development. It is part of the Queens West Development, which was created to remediate and redevelop 74 acres of vacant former industrial waterfront along the East River into a vibrant new community. The building is sited within a rapidly changing urban condition along the East River in Long Island City, surrounded by high-rise residential buildings. In response, the design rises vertically on a small footprint, standing in juxtaposition to the buildings around it. Resisting recent trends of incorporating public libraries and much-needed social space within high-end residential towers, the Hunters Point Library stands independently, rising with a minimal footprint on its 32,000 square foot site. The Queens Library is deeply rooted in and connected to the neighborhood thus, the library is not only a space for reading and studying, but also a new community hub that will bring people together and provide spaces for engagement. At night the glowing presence of the Hunters Point Library along the waterfront joins the Pepsi sign and the "Long Island" sign at the old Gantry to become a beacon for this new community place.

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