A single room Carnegie era branch library of 1909 had served the local community of Stapleton, Staten Island for over 100 years. Due to time and the changing needs of the community the one-room library was in dire need of renovation and expansion. The adjacent empty lot was allocated for an 8,000 square foot addition to create a contemporary library of 13,000 square feet.
The new expanded library is accessible, inviting, and civic. Old and new have been brought together to make a meaningful whole.
Working with the sloping grade of the land, the new entrance and building engage with the slope of the street, allowing for access from grade, without steps. The planning is simple, as is appropriate for a branch library. Generous open areas are created for adults, teens, children, staff, and a Community Room. Books line all spaces and are attractively displayed. The floor area is maximized for people and programming.
The transparent glazed facade invites the public and fills the interior with natural light. The exposed wood structure provides a rhythm, scale and material richness unexpected in contemporary public buildings. A radiant heating system efficiently warms the polished concrete floors. Comfort and care are expressed through the architecture.