Cornell University’s much-anticipated Mui Ho Fine Arts Library is finally open in Ithaca, New York. Set within a 27,000-square-foot industrial building from 1911, the $16.9 million reading and learning space boasts four levels of floating bookshelves holding over 100,000 volumes. The project was envisioned by Austrian architect Wolfgang Tschapeller, head of his eponymous Vienna-based firm and a graduate of Cornell’s master’s in architecture program. Alongside New York City studio STV—the architect-of-record, Tscahpeller completely revamped the interior of the historic Rand Hall, a three-story, steel-and-masonry structure primarily used for printing and, in more recent decades, as architecture studios. In order to upgrade the building for the 21st-century, the design team had to secure its exterior envelope, replace the roof, and add thermal insulation. Thanks to these changes, as well as the integration of new double-glazed windows, the project is expected to reduce energy in Rand Hall by 70 percent. On the interior, Wolfgang Tscahpeller Architekt and STV removed the third floor and reinforced its original cross-beam skeleton so they could input the suspended steel mezzanines where all the books would be stacked, according to Metropolis. The entire renovation took a total of 18 months. An open reading room takes up significant space on the ground-level but beyond the books, the library is also a hub for art and architecture students to create. There is an 8,300-square-foot lab on the first floor with a material practice center featuring a makers space, a small-tool repository, as well as wood, metal, and digital fabrication shops. This dual utility of the library, both as a place where students can read and build, was one of the most important aspects of the renovation. “Thus, we have two factories in one building,” said Tscahpeller in a statement. “One factory is for the material, and one is the factory for thought and concepts—both wrapped by Rand Hall to one interacting volume.” Meejin Yoon, dean of Cornell’s College of Art, Architecture, and Planning (AAP), said this is also what she loves about the project. “The production of new knowledge, ranging from scholarship to research and fabrication and making, tying those activities together as all forms of new knowledge is exciting.” The library is seamlessly connected via the second and third floors to Milstein Hall next door, a 2011 project designed by OMA for Cornell’s architecture department. The completion of the state-of-the-art structure spurred a number of improvements for the arts campus over the last decade which concluded this year with the Rand Hall renovation. Like the green roof atop Milstein, the library will activate its roof deck with outdoor installations in the warmer months.
Posts tagged with "Library":
Books undisputedly play an unparalleled role in shaping the destinies of both individuals and societies alike and nothing guides man more effectively than books. However, it is a sad reflection that amongst other positive social values the culture of reading has also persistently been declining across the world. Libraries were the ‘cool’ places of our cultural fabric until the modern age. But with the invention of internet and an onslaught of digital revolution, libraries and reading spaces lost their essence and aura. To revive the diminishing reading culture what we immediately need is to re-interpret the image of a reading space and make it look more appealing to the masses. Central Park is one of the most known and visited park in the world and is located in heart of New York City, becoming one of the most characterizing features of the city pattern. It is the most visited urban park in the United States, with an estimated 37–38 million visitors annually, and one of the most filmed locations in the world. The competition seeks for the creation of a pavilion structure in the park that would house a public library/reading studio with an aim to promote reading culture among the general public and visitors. The proposal should aim to create a new-age library typology that would break away from the formal environment of existing libraries of the world. The spatiality of the library should be re-interpreted from boring and pragmatic to innovative, interesting and flexible typology of reading spaces and interior arrangements etc. The participants should focus on creating an experience for the user in the library space that will stimulate the mind to stay and spend time for longer periods.The competition seeks to create a 21st century ‘library in a park’ typology that will incorporate the social factor in a library.
Apple has restored a cultural, historic, and civic icon in the heart of the nation's capital to serve as its newest retail store. With the recent launch of Apple Carnegie Library, the tech giant has opened its most extensively renovated retail space to date in Washington, D.C. Foster + Partners led the $30 million, two-year renovation of the historic Carnegie Library, a 1903 Beaux-Arts building in D.C.'s Mount Vernon Square. The new store aligns closely with Apple's rebranding of its retail spaces as "town squares" rather than stores, often located in historic and iconic sites and buildings, and intended to be used for more than just selling phones and computers. Apple Carnegie is the 13th such location to try to deliver on that concept. The Carnegie Library was the District's first public library and first desegregated public building and served as D.C.'s central library until 1970. It then sat as a party rental space until the D.C. Historical Society garnered a rent-free 99-year lease with the city in 1999. The society launched a City Museum of Washington, D.C., in the building in 2003, but it closed just one year later. Since then, the library building has been targeted for a range of never-built proposals, including as a music museum and an international spy museum. The new design for the Apple Store introduced a grand staircase that cascades out onto the street, removed later additions to the building, and restored the facade. Foster + Partners worked with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and other preservation experts to restore the facades and interiors, with an emphasis on reintroducing natural ventilation and bringing more daylight into the building. The retail space can be accessed by entrances on both sides of the building's north-south access, allowing for a route through the building. The central core of the building, which Apple is calling the Forum, is a double-height space topped by a skylight which is dedicated to workshops on Apple's products as well as to host performances and workshops. Apple Carnegie Library also includes new programming for several acres of Mount Vernon Square, an urban park in the heart of downtown D.C. that the library is sited on. The plaza in front of the southern entrance will be dedicated to public concerts and events. Meanwhile, the grand staircase leads visitors to the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., which will remain as the building's long-term tenant. In the basement, the Carnegie Gallery is dedicated to educating the public about the history of the building through archival materials and photographs. As Jonathan Ive, Apple's chief design officer, said in a statement, "Apple Carnegie Library will be a way for us to share our ideas and excitement about the products we create, while giving people a sense of community and encouraging and nurturing creativity." However, some in D.C. are questioning how the civic icon could be turned over to a private company like Apple. Other "town square" stores have been rejected, most notably in Stockholm and Melbourne, where Apple had proposed to build new stores in historic public plazas.
The Bronx-based Concourse House, a transitional shelter for women with children under nine years old, has received a new children’s library courtesy of New York's Michael K. Chen Architecture (MKCA). Instead of a traditional book nook, MKCA has installed an illuminated, elongated library and a reading area below the shelter’s dramatic barrel-vaulted ceiling. Concourse House: Home for Women and Their Children was founded in 1991 as both a shelter and resource center for families who are transitioning out of homelessness. Because Concourse House primarily works with families who have children, the library was a welcome addition. “The love of books and of reading is something that defined my own childhood, and that of everyone on our team,” said MKCA founder Michael Chen. “The space for imagination and for reflection that books afford is such a gift, especially for kids who don’t currently have a permanent home, or might not have a space of their own. It’s a privilege to work with Concourse House to make the library a reality for such a deserving group of children.” MKCA placed the library and slatted bookshelf on the mezzanine of Concourse House’s soaring multipurpose space, allowing light from the space’s ample windows to filter through to the reading area. The rounded edges of the timber bookshelf both slot into and reference the building’s vaulted ceiling. Whereas the multipurpose space below is a stark white, MKCA used color in the children’s library to differentiate it from the shelter’s more institutional spaces. An assortment of soft poufs in red, blue, and green pastels was used for the library’s seating and can be stored in their accompanying shelves to act as backrests for children who sit on the ground. A room-spanning plush carpet in a wild variety of colors drew inspiration from the shape of the other elements in the library for its rounded pattern. The project was completed pro bono, and through the help of small donators. The library was filled with 1,200 books through Sisters Uptown Bookstore in Washington Heights, while MKCA solicited donations from designers, fabricators, suppliers, and contractors to complete the project. The studio also worked to coordinate a charity auction for the shelter, where design objects, furniture, and lighting will be sold through Paddle8.com from December 4 through 18. The project was made possible through the primary support of Julie and Kate Yamin.
For the first time in 35 years, the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is building a new branch dedicated to serving the communities in DUMBO, Vinegar Hill, and the Farragut Houses. With a design by New York firm WORKac, the library is set to become the 60th branch in the system. So far, no design details have been announced, but WORKac will begin an extensive community engagement process this fall to determine the main design priorities for local residents. It will be located at 135 Plymouth Street—just underneath the Manhattan Bridge inside Alloy Development’s One John Street residential complex—and will feature 6,500 square feet of space for flexible programming, book lending services, and desks for working. The project is part of BPL’s major effort to update aging infrastructure in one-third of its branches over the next five years. Thirteen libraries will undergo full-scale renovations while three libraries (Brooklyn Heights Library, Greenpoint Library, and Sunset Park Library) will be entirely reconstructed. The newest branch in DUMBO is expected to be completed by 2020, with an estimated construction start in mid-2019. WORKac has a long history of working on public projects with the City of New York, including libraries, schools, and historic retrofits. The firm finished the much-anticipated renovation and expansion of the Kew Gardens Hills Library in Queens last fall, bringing structural upgrades, a bright new interior, and an elongated green roof to the 10,000 square-foot space. In addition, WORKac designed the inaugural Edible Schoolyard for P.S. 216 in Brooklyn as well as the more recently-completed second schoolyard at P.S. 7 in East Harlem.
Snøhetta’s dreamy vision for the new Far Rockaway public library in Queens, New York, is inching closer towards reality. Queens Public Library announced that the existing 50-year-old structure will officially close next week ahead of reconstruction. The $33-million project, designed by the Brooklyn- and Oslo-based firm, will break ground over the footprint of the 9,000-square-foot building in the coming months. The library is located at 1637 Central Avenue and was the talk of the town after Hurricane Sandy nearly destroyed the surrounding Rockaway community in 2012. In the aftermath of the storm, the library helped provide disaster relief to local residents. Snøhetta’s design for the new library is slated to not only bring stellar architecture to an often-neglected area of New York, but also help spur revitalization in the neighborhood. The redesign will double the space inside the library by adding new children’s and teen rooms, an ADA-compliant entrance and restrooms, an elevator, a large meeting room, and more. With these enlarged spaces, the library hopes to expand its burgeoning community programming. While significantly bigger than the original library, the two-story structure will feature an entirely green design to help it run efficiently. It will be LEED Gold certified, utilize daylight to control interior temperatures, and include a blue roof that captures stormwater. The site will also be elevated to exceed the new FEMA flood zone guidelines in case of future storms. Snøhetta’s sunset-hued, boxy building is sure to stand out in downtown Far Rockaway not only because of its angular massing but also because of its distinctive cladding. According to the architects, “the simple form provides a calm contrast to the visual noise of surrounding retail outlets.” At the corner of Mott and Central Avenues, the library’s main entrance will take the shape of a carved pyramid, outfitted with transparent glass so passersby can see what’s going on at night. Through a fritted glass curtain wall wrapping the structure, light will be diffused into the central atrium and gathering spaces below during the day. The new Far Rockaway Library is expected to be complete in 2021. Starting October 30, the library will operate out of 1003 Beach 20th Street through the end of construction.
Brooklyn-based SO-IL and Cleveland’s JKurtz Architects have been chosen to design Cleveland’s new Martin Luther King, Jr. branch of the public library system. The team was selected by the Cleveland Public Library (CPL) Board of Trustees on June 15, beating out other big-name teams including MASS Design Group with LDA Architects, and Bialosky Cleveland with Vines Architecture. The winning scheme is laden with design flourishes that nod to King’s legacy and seek to bring people together. “We looked to Dr. King’s words for our inspiration. The table of brotherhood led us to our vision—a table large enough to host all communities,” said co-founder of SO-IL Jing Liu during their presentation before the board. “What we made here is not a static symbol but a place where people come together and interact.” The “table of brotherhood,” a metaphor from King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, will be physically embodied at the new branch by a large, multi-use table at the heart of the team’s plan. A staircase up to an elevated area will reference King’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech and patrons can find the library’s future collection of Anisfield-Wolf books; those that recognize racism and celebrate diversity. A “virtual garden,” interactive “Freedom Map” podium, a “Living Wall” that projects rearranging words, and a “Virtual Garden” are all in the works for the new museum. “SO-IL + JKurtz proposed a functional, beautiful space that speaks to Dr. King’s vision of social justice and equality. The Board found the design inventive and creative, with many features that can make this branch world-class,” said Maritza Rodriguez, President of the Cleveland Public Library Board of Trustees in a statement. The city is now in negotiations with the architectural team, and no construction date or budget have been made public yet. The old Martin Luther King, Jr. library will stay open until the new branch is finished.
2017 Best of Design Award for Civic - Educational: Elmhurst Community Library Architect: Marpillero Pollak Architects Location: Queens, New York With over 80,000 users speaking more than 57 languages, Elmhurst is the second-busiest circulating library of the 64 in Queens Library’s network. The building’s massing maximizes the impact of an existing community park and highlights the civic role of two reading rooms that emit a welcoming glow after sunset. The main circulation spine extends the streetscape toward a group of trees in the block interior. A system of brightly colored “portals” supports orientation and interaction among programmatic spaces catering to diverse age groups, reinforcing the library’s neighborhood significance. The main architectural elements are two structural glass cubes that position patrons within the community park and on the urban thoroughfare of Broadway. The park cube makes legibile the operations of the library’s two main floors with a monumental stair grounded by a bookshelf, while the Broadway cube floats above the main entry displaying the work 955 Shapes by artist Allan McCollum. “This handsome new library takes full advantage of its site with its richness in textures and colors, and provides a welcoming cultural and educational resource for this Queens community.” —Irene Sunwoo, Director of Exhibitions, GSAPP (juror) Structural Engineer: Severud Associates General Contractor: Stalco Construction Percent for Art (Selected Artist): Allan McCollum Structural Glass: W & W Glass Material Supplier for Terra-cotta Rainscreen: Boston Valley Terra Cotta Honorable Mention Project: Lakeview Pantry Architect: Wheeler Kearns Architects Location: Chicago, Illinois Lakeview Pantry has transformed a dilapidated pet daycare into its first permanent home. Located adjacent to an L station, the renovated building immediately sends a welcoming message to both neighbors and clients with its large storefront windows and colorful, bright interiors. The goal of the architecture is to create a space that provides dignity to those in a time of need, furthering the Pantry’s mission. Honorable Mention Project: University of California, San Diego Jacobs Medical Center Architect: CannonDesign Location: La Jolla, California The ten-story UC San Diego Jacobs Medical Center functions as three medical specialty centers—housing inpatient services for high-risk obstetrics and neonatal care, cancer care, and advanced surgical care. The building’s overall curvilinear form was driven not only by the design of the patient units, but also by the goals of capitalizing on views, maximizing daylight, and minimizing solar gain and glare. The elevated gardens and terraces bring nature up to the patient level.
After recently completing its eye-shaped library in Tianjin Binhai, China, Dutch design firm MVRDV is facing questions over the functionality of the shelves in its main atrium. After the building went viral for its visually stunning floor-to-ceiling shelving, patrons have reported that the books on display are either fake or printed onto the shelving itself. Commissioned by the Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute as part of a master plan to create a new cultural district for the city, the Tianjin Binhai Library went from design to completion in only three years. Layers of white, terraced bookshelves in the atrium wrap around a glowing orb that anchors the library and doubles as a centrally-located auditorium. Slotting the building into an existing 393,000-square-foot master plan by German architects GMP, MVRDV rolled the required auditorium into a multi-use cavity that leads to reading rooms, lounge areas, offices, meeting rooms and computer labs. The building itself is only 6 stories tall, so every programmatic element is accessible directly from the atrium. MVRDV acknowledged that their original plans for accessing the top bookshelves through upper-level rooms had to be scrapped because of the tight construction schedule, with “perforated aluminum plates printed to represent books” filling the inaccessible spaces. However, as Yahoo reported yesterday, visitors have been met with empty shelves and dangerously uneven stairs. Most of the real books on display for the opening were only put out for a photo shoot, and have been moved to traditional reading rooms deeper in the library. The library's deputy director, Liu Xiufeng, told Yahoo, "We can only use the hall for the purposes for which it has been approved, so we cannot use it as a place to put books." The decision was made by local authorities and against MVRDV’s wishes, according to spokeswoman Zhou Shuting. Originally promising to house 1.2 million books, the library has stalled out at 200,000, although it hopes to eventually reach that goal. Still, the project’s online popularity has bolstered the number of visitors that the library receives to 15,000 every weekend. The lack of books isn’t the Tianjin Binhai Library’s only problem, and less attentive tourists have fallen victim to the irregularly shaped stairs. "People trip a lot. Last week an old lady slipped and hit her head hard. There was blood," a guard told Yahoo.
Riverside, California’s long-delayed Main Library redevelopment plan is showing signs of life, as a new design proposal by Los Angeles–based architects Johnson Favaro has come to light and begun a public vetting process. The proposal calls for a three-story, 35,000-square-foot library to be located at the site of the city’s former Greyhound bus terminal. Renderings for the $40 million project depict a proud structure raised on a set of piers that frame a generous covered outdoor breezeway at the base of the building. The building's lower levels are occupied by a local history archive as well as support functions designed to serve the site's open spaces. Much of the library’s interior volume will be contained within a double-height space located above the breezeway. The structure’s main facade is punctuated by a large oculus that overlooks the street and offers views into the library. The building will also feature a south-facing terrace on the second floor that will be oriented toward nearby mountain views. The Press-Enterprise reports that the interiors will come with stationary bicycle desks that can be used to power electronic devices. The complex will also include a business incubator and a toy and tool lending library. Johnson Favaro’s proposal is planned to take up approximately one-third of the site in order to allow the remaining portions to be developed as a high-rise, mixed use private development sometime in the future. The firm is master planning the remaining portions of the site in preparation for future construction. In a press release, Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey boasted about the planned library’s broad appeal, saying, “Libraries have evolved into information centers that serve everyone from young children checking out their first books to adults who are looking to re-enter the workforce. Riversiders of all ages can look forward to an amazing place that focuses on exploration and innovation.” The project is currently undergoing a public comment period prior to the submission of an environmental impact report. City agencies plan to break ground in 2018 and have the building completed in 2019.
Brought to you with support from
Situated about 20 miles outside of downtown Toronto, the Albion Library has historically been one of the city’s busiest libraries. In need of repairs, the facility was initially slated to be closed and renovated. After a series of consultations and community meetings, the project—led by Perkins + Will Canada—was rethought as a ground-up project. The outcome is a new 35,000-square-foot square-shaped building punctuated by courtyard gardens and interior pavilions. The perimeter is defined by a screen of polychrome terra cotta tiles in bright, unexpected colors, helping to contrast the monotone concrete context that surrounds the site. Andrew Frontini, design director of Perkins+Will Canada, said the project team conceptualized the library as an urban oasis. “We wanted to create a colorful perimeter fence that lifts up to let people in. This screen speaks to both the richness of the community and offerings within the library. The idea of using color and very fine texture as something that materializes and dematerializes led us to use terra cotta." The architects said one of the challenges of the project was resolving two distinctly different facade systems to produce a cohesive wall wrapper that clads walls and screens outdoor spaces as it wraps the square volume of the building. “The challenge was to get everything to align, and to achieve a consistency of detailed expressions when in fact we were dealing with two very different systems." The primary wall assembly is a terra cotta rain screen composed of vertically-oriented hollow-cell tongue-and-groove planks around 3/4-inch thick. These planks are finished in an unglazed beige gray coloration, which acts as a background "field" for more colorfully glazed terra cotta baguettes that are mechanically fastened into a rhythmic patterning on the facade. The terra cotta cladding is mounted on stainless steel clips that provide attachment to a Z-girt system. About one inch beyond the terra cotta cladding sits a conventional rain screen assembly composed of rigid insulation, a vapor barrier, and sheathing over structural steel studs. At the courtyards, a second facade assembly picks up the terra cotta. Upper and lower flashing from the rain screen continues to this screen system, providing visual continuity between the two systems. This screen is composed of two-inch terra cotta baguettes set about two inches apart. The terra cotta is attached back to a steel HSS frame, set precisely to maintain a coplanar finish of terra cotta around the perimeter of the building. The framing allowed for terra cotta to be clad on both the exterior and interior side, which allowed for a more finished look to the courtyards for people using the library. Frontini said the project team very purposefully selected colors for the terra cotta. "We were looking at an array of colors that would be evocative of a floral garden. We wanted something that wasn't immediately apparent in the existing landscape—colors that were distinct from the urban setting, and vibrant so that in the winter the colors would help to animate the interior." Within the framed rain screen assembly, a series of punched windows are camouflaged as continuous vertical ribbons of glass by employing spandrel panels above and below the window opening. Below the terra cotta cladding assembly, which forms a sloped datum as it shifts upward to produce corner entries, a curtain wall system is utilized. This creates a nearly continuous band of transparent glazing around the perimeter of the library. Larger expanses of curtain wall are also employed to the interior side of the courtyards, helping to produce a more transparent separation between library and garden. Low-level radiant heating set into a recessed trench system is located at the curtain wall, helping to produce a draft stop and provide heating to patrons situated at furniture along the perimeter. Above, the library roofscape helps to manage stormwater through a green roof system that partially covers the roof, and through sloped areas which direct water into the landscaped courtyards below. "I find that the courtyards are quite magical,” said Frontini. “These pockets of greenery and color bring light deep into the building. Because of these spaces, it's very hard to be far from a window even though you are sitting in a 35,000-square-foot square."