The copper rooftop addition on the Mid-Manhattan Library building references the surrounding buildings in its materiality.

Mid-Manhattan Library

New York, USA

Architecture, Interior, Library

Status: Ongoing
Project Design: 2015 - 2018
Project Realisation: 2017 - 2020
Address: 455 5th Ave, New York, NY 10016, USA
Client: New York Public Library

Design Team: Mecanoo, Beyer Blinder Belle Architects

Programme: Renovation of Mid-Manhattan Library to create capacity for 400,000 books and other circulating materials; with children’s library, teens library, business library, adult learning centre, 1,580 m2 of general reading and study space, 1,020 m2 of multipurpose space, and rooftop terrace.

Awards: 1st Prize Competition.

The New York Public Library’s Midtown renovation will enhance and unite the full spectrum of offerings available across the Library system, from circulating and research services to business resources and educational programs for all ages.

Mid-Manhattan Library – the Library’s most heavily used circulating branch – is set to undergo a transformation that will create a new, state-of-the-art library that will serve as both a model and catalyst for a rejuvenated library system.

The team of Mecanoo and Beyer Blinder Belle worked for over a year analysing library usage data, interviewing staff, surveying the public, and meeting with community stakeholders to ensure that the new branch will best meet the needs of library patrons.

The renovated branch will have a dramatic, multi-story wall of bookshelves – the Long Room; an employment skills centre occupying a full floor as well as an adjacent floor providing job-search help and small-business support; a full-floor dedicated to a library for children and a separate library for teens; additional seating; and one of the only free public roof terraces in Midtown.

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