Re-Envisioning Branch Libraries Design Study
Andrew Berman Architect
Leslie Burger, Library Development Solutions
Neil Donnelly, Graphic Designer
Daniel Payne, AEA Consulting
Steven Friedlander, Auerbach Pollock Friedlander
For this study we have investigated the large and disparate building stock of the three New York City library systems, and developed a consistent framework or kit of parts for improving each, on a case by case basis.
Through diagramming existing spatial distribution, close observation of patron usage and conversations with librarians and administrators, we identified a number of systemic issues that informed six opportunities for intervention—Transparency, Resource Hub, Active Floor Space, Community Room, Occupied Façade and the 24-hour Engawa Room.
Four case studies explored the design proposals, implementing all or most of the interventions in a manner specific to the site. At the core of the study is the belief that if the branches are transformed from within, in sympathy with their context, they can be re-invented while remaining cherished, progressive and accessible resources for everyone.