Adams Street Library | WORKac

New York / United States

19
19 Love 3,872 Visits Published

The new Adams Street Library is the Brooklyn Public Library’s first new branch to open in more than twenty years. Extensive, architect-led community outreach within neighboring Dumbo, Vinegar Hill, and the Farragut Houses indicated that children’s spaces and programming was lacking - and important — to residents across the diverse neighborhoods. The design therefore puts children at its center, the envelope incorporating spaces for learning activities, story time, books, reading and views out to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The library also offers new collections, technology and extensive programming for teens and young adults in a dedicated teens area.


Two large, flexible multipurpose spaces with stackable chairs and foldable tables, whiteboards and a kitchenette provide much-needed space for community gathering and meeting. Technology is readily accessible to patrons, with free Wi-Fi throughout, hard-wired charging and power built into the reading tables, and projection capability in the large community room. The library also has generous spaces for staff and public, gender-inclusive restrooms.


The branch is located under the Manhattan Bridge in the DUMBO Historic District, within a 1901 industrial building which has been many different things: torpedo factory, recycling facility and now apartments and commercial spaces. The design takes inspiration from this layered history. We were able to prove the required fire separation would be provided by the heavy timber ceiling which is therefore exposed through curved openings in a contemporary ceiling. The dialogue between old and new continues throughout the space. The patinaed brick perimeter walls are also exposed, and contrasted with a series of pixelated murals depicting images of nature inspired by the neighborhood.


Surrounded by 15-foot windows, the library is designed as a series of open spaces around a porous pavilion that houses an elevated children’s area, allowing kids to see out over the main reading room toward the Manhattan skyline, the East River, and the park. Clad in a maple- veneered MDF that is CNC-milled with a custom pattern, the pavilion combines programmed niches for stroller parking and book storage with large curvaceous openings. The interior is clad in cheerful orange hues and contains a space for story time and steps to sit and play on.


Outside, the entrance is demarcated by a super-graphic sign reading “LIBRARY.” This sign was approved by the Landmarks Commission who noted its creative use of the precedent set by historic painted signs in the neighborhood. Visible from across the East River, it gives a clear identity and invitation to this vital public amenity.


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Project Credits:
Principals: Amale Andraos + Dan Wood
Project Architect: Evgeniya Plotnikova, Troy Lacombe
Team: Zahid Ajam, Nevin Blum, Ania Yee-Boguinskaia, Giorgia Cedro, Leslie Dougrou, Kelly Lee
Structural: LERA
MEP: DOSE Engineering
Lighting: Tillotson Design Associates Graphics: Linked By Air
Contractor: Shawmut Design & Construction Code: CCBS Consultants
AV/IT: Cerami
Cost: Costrak Consulting

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    The new Adams Street Library is the Brooklyn Public Library’s first new branch to open in more than twenty years. Extensive, architect-led community outreach within neighboring Dumbo, Vinegar Hill, and the Farragut Houses indicated that children’s spaces and programming was lacking - and important — to residents across the diverse neighborhoods. The design therefore puts children at its center, the envelope incorporating spaces for learning activities, story time, books,...

    Project details
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Libraries
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