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New York Public Library Unveils Designs For New 53rd Street Library

Plans released depicting The New York Public Library’s all-new 53rd Street branch in midtown Manhattan portray an open, light-filled design that offers a rich variety of public reading and meeting spaces, a family and children’s area, state-of-the-art computer labs, an audio-video collection, and accessible book collections that encourage communal interaction throughout.

Designs for the new 53 Street branch of The New York Public Library; copyright TEN Arquitectos
Designs for the new 53 Street branch of The New York Public Library; copyright TEN Arquitectos

The 28,000 square-foot branch, one of the largest in the NYPL system, is anchored by an internal topography that connects the library’s three floors, bringing light and views to the deepest corners of the plan’s lower floors and providing opportunities for interaction and public programs upon the interior library steps. A glass curtain wall, at street level, brings sunlight and the feel of the neighborhood into the library and allows those walking by to see the rich diversity of activity happening within.

The three-story library at 20 West 53rd Street – designed by world-renowned architect Enrique Norten and his firm TEN Arquitectos – will be a true civic space, accommodating a variety of patrons and needs, from individuals looking for quiet study spaces to others seeking small group discussions as well as those wanting to experience one of the larger public programs. The library will include two assembly spaces – an auditorium and bleacher seating – to support community workshops, educational programs and library events.

The designs have already been honored with a 2013 Project Merit Award from the American Institute of Architects, New York Chapter.

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