Construction has commenced on Steven Holl Architects' Hunters Point Community Library in Queens, New York. Rising along the shoreline on the city's East River near a cluster of newly built high-rise condominiums, the 22,000 square-foot (6,705 meter) library aims to provide a community-centric public space and park to the increasingly privatized Long Island City waterfront.
From the architects: The concrete structure of the building is exposed and aluminum painted, giving the exterior a subtle sparkle. A golden-section upturned rectangle is carved out according to the browsing circuit of movement within the interior of library. Glazed cuts in the façade grant users views toward the city as they move up a series of bookshelf flanked stairs. The main Manhattan view, perpendicular to the internal movement of the library, gives visitors to this small space a dramatic experience.
The program's separation into children's area, teen area and adult area can be read in the sculpted cuts of the east face of the building, one façade opening for each area; yet the programmatic divisions are fluid. While the plan is compact, the building section of the new library is open and flowing allowing for the most energy-efficient design and the greatest amount of public green space on the site.
On the east entrance side, the library faces a reading garden bordered by a low park office pavilion with a bosque of ginko trees. Ascending the stair inside visitors can reach the rooftop reading garden with panoramic views of the city.
At night the glowing presence of the new library along the waterfront joins the Pepsi sign and the "Long Island" sign at the old Gantry to become a beacon for this new community place.
The library will be completed in 2017.
In celebration of the groundbreaking, an exhibition chronicling the design process of this new civic building and public park has opened at Sculpture Center in Long Island City, Queens and online at www.stevenholl.com/online-
LocationQueens, NY, United States
Design ArchitectsSteven Holl, Chris McVoy
Senior Partner In ChargeChris McVoy
Associate in ChargeOlaf Schmidt
Project ArchitectFilipe Taboada
Project TeamBell Ying Yi Cai, Rychiee Espinosa, JongSeo Lee, Maki Matsubayashi, Michael Rusch, Dominik Sigg, Yasmin Vobis, Jeanne Wellinger
ClientNew York City Department of Design and Construction, Queens Library
Landscape ArchitectsMichael Van Valkenburgh and Associates
Structural EngineerRobert Silman Associates
MEP EngineerICOR Associates
Lighting DesignL'Observatoire International
LEED ConsultantADS Engineers
Code ConsultantIrene Joyce Berzak-Schoen
Civil EngineerLangan Engineering & Environmental Services
Fire Technical ConsultantRolf Jensen & Assoc.
Cost EstimatorDavis Langdon
SpecificationsConstruction Specifications Inc.
PhotographsSteven Holl Architects