Design Standards and Carnegie Branch Renovations, New York Public Library

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New York, NY
New York Public Library (NYPL)

The New York Public Library includes 143 branch libraries in Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island, 67 of which were conceived and funded by Andrew Carnegie in the beginning of the 20th Century. In order to determine how to best transform these 100 year old structures for the needs of today, Mitchell Giurgola worked with the NYPL to evaluate the essential qualities of the Carnegie Branches and develop design standards for future renovations. The process included existing building and systems evaluations as well as extensive conversations and workshops with librarians, staff and patrons to discover their needs and aspirations. The Standards focus on the integration of technology and other amenities to create a welcoming environment for a diverse group of patrons. A wide range of issues were addressed including finishes, furnishings, reception and service points, lighting, security, technology, building systems, sustainability and accessibility.

Immediately following the publication of the Design Standards, NYPL commissioned the renovation of five of the branches. MG is currently working on the renovation of both the Hunts Point and Melrose Branch Libraries.