The architects did not put forth the branch library’s identity via an iconic facade symboliz ing the New York Public Library as an institution. Instead, the facade disappears completely to reveal a dynamic internal streetscape and new kind of public space. Inside, the innovative use of modest materials creates a rich palette of texture and expression. The interior rear wall, squarely framed by the clear façade, will be a changing canvas for artwork commissioned from young artists, creating a dialogue with the established art world of the Museum of Modern Art across the street. The three floors are openly connected to bring light and views to the deepest corners of the plan, and to provide endless opportunities for social interaction and enlightenment. This stepped interior landscape will also perform as the main hall for exchange, and act as a touchstone for information for library visitors and tourists. Hosting lectures, films and live performances, the new library branch will be a venue even after hours, and a valuable complement among its cultural neighbors on 53rd Street. The adaptable open plan and integration of books, art and technology engages the occupant by providing an accessible, intuitive landscape offering a wide spectrum of public and private spaces, recogniz ing that the only way to build a community is by empowering the individual. The book collection is structured to encourage greater interaction among individuals, between the user and the library itself, while establishing new connections between the library, books, technology, and art.


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