Can Architect Francine Houben Remake the Public Library? - curbed.com
Karrie Jacobs wrote an essay on Mecanoo’s approach to libraries. Published on curbed.com, the article focuses on the upcoming Midtown Campus renovation of the New York Public Library as well as Mecanoo’s current work on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington DC.
The essay praises earlier projects like the Delft Univeristy of Technology Library and the Library of Birmingham. “[Francine Houben] Houben has a growing reputation as the Library Whisperer, someone whose humanistic approach to architecture has helped reinvent an institution that some thought would die along with the printed book.”
Talking about the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building in Boston, Jacobs notes: “[Mecanoo] are genius practitioners of an approach that almost defines The Netherlands: the past, present, and future comingle in ways that are at once exhilarating and reassuring. The past isn't bulldozed. It's folded into the future.”
Chief library officer Mary Lee Kennedy of NYPL was asked why Mecanoo was chosen. Kennedy replied: "I like their philosophy of the library: a library for the people. I think Francine is very focused on building a library for the community. " NYPL’s chief operating officer, Iris Weinshall phrased it this way: "I think that what was particularly appealing for the committee was her holistic approach toward design and libraries."
Read the entire 6000 word article on curbed.com