Established in 2001, the MASterworks Awards pay tribute each year to projects that make a significant contribution to New York City’s built environment. Mecanoo and Beyer Blinder Belle’s Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library was distinguished with the Best Adaptive Reuse Award in these years’ edition, recognizing a project that demonstrates exceptional creativity in adaptive reuse of an existing building or structure. The iconic design of SNFL, a multi-faceted complement to the Stephen A Schwarzman Building across Fifth Avenue, reflects its central role in NYPL’s system. The project–the largest public-private rehabilitation in NYPL’s 125-year history–boosts public space by 35%, doubles seating, and improves resource access.
“While the exterior remains largely the same, except for a jaunty cap on the roof, the renovation completely alters the way the library works, both structurally and programmatically. A building that at one point seemed obsolete and unsalvageable has been transformed by scooping out the back section to bring in light and create a separate five-story tower of bookshelves.” Justin Davidson, MASterworks Jury Member
“The realization of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library, first constructed as a department store, activates eight floors of important public amenities. It has become the central circulating library New York City has long needed, wanted, and deserves. Generous support from New York City and a landmark $55 million grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation made this project possible, and we share this honor with our supporters and with the New Yorkers that use and love The New York Public Library.” Anthony W. Marx, President of The New York Public Library
“Libraries are and will always be repositories of knowledge; but that knowledge resides in its librarians as much as in its bookshelves. Working together with NYPL’s talented staff, our firms strove to meet the library’s needs with an inclusive program, humanistic planning and design, and iconic architecture. Recognition by the Municipal Art Society reinforces the pride we feel for this important revitalization project.” Francine Houben, Creative Director/Founding Partner of Mecanoo, and Elizabeth Leber, Managing Partner of Beyer Blinder Belle
Read the full article and complete list of winners at MASterworks Awards.