Mecanoo Replaces Foster + Partners On New York Public Library Renovation

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The New York Public Library has selected Mecanoo – the Dutch architecture company behind Europe’s greatest library – to lead the renovation of its iconic major constructing on Fifth Avenue and a smaller branch nearby.

Mecanoo has been tasked with expanding the public regions of the Stephen A Schwarzman Developing, the library’s principal non-circulating study centre at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, by 42 per cent.

The firm will also gut and renovate the library’s smaller Mid-Manhattan branch, a lending facility located at 40th Street and Fifth Avenue.

The New York Public Library's 42nd Street main building The New York Public Library’s Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street main building

“Libraries are the cathedrals of our time. It is the most important public developing in a city,” mentioned Mecanoo principal Francine Houben. “Our holistic approach – from library card to campus – aims to develop a public library in the broadest sense, welcoming to all and capable of changing the course of person lives via modern library spaces and providers, for these days and tomorrow.”

Final yr, library leaders abandoned a controversial \$300 million renovation strategy led by Foster + Partners, which would have eliminated several of the book stacks in the Schwarzman constructing to produce a huge new reading through area.


Related story: New York Public Library abandons Foster’s contentious renovation ideas


Critics of the strategy argued it would have undermined a resource for scholarship, as hundreds of thousands of its books and other holdings would have been moved into off-internet site storage. The London-based mostly architecture company had already been paid \$9 million for its styles.

The New York Public Library's Fifth Avenue branch The New York Public Library’s 40th Street and Fifth Avenue branch

Mecanoo will group up with the New York firm Beyer Blinder Belle, which is recognized for its historic preservation perform including the renovation of Grand Central Terminal, also on 42nd Street.

“With this team – Mecanoo, a around the world leader in library design, and Beyer Blinder Belle, which has renovated New York’s most prominent and iconic historic buildings – the library can be assured we can realise our ambitious, and critically crucial, vision,” said Evan Chesler, chairman of the library’s board of trustees.

Foster + Partners' plans for New York Public LibraryLibrary leaders abandoned Foster + Partners’ controversial renovation programs for the New York Public Library

The New York City Library at present runs four principal study amenities and 88 lending libraries. The Schwarzman constructing is often referred to as its primary branch and homes far more than 15 million items, such as uncommon manuscripts and scrolls. The constructing opened in 1911, and was created by New York architecture studio Carrère and Hastings. It is acknowledged for the pair of lion statues reclining outside the entrance and the ornate Rose Primary Studying Space.

The new public spaces within the Schwarzman creating will be developed out of “vacant or underneath-utilised personnel spaces,” in accordance to a statement from the institution.

The renovation of the Mid-Manhattan branch will commence initial with an estimated completion date of 2019. Alterations to the Schwarzman creating will adhere to.

Mecanoo is at the moment renovating Washington DC’s principal circulating library, named for Martin Luther King Jr, which was initially made by Mies van der Rohe. They also not too long ago completed the Bruce C Bolling Municipal Constructing in Boston.

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