"There's much more to today's public libraries than books, and architects are adding to their shelf life," says Richard Staub of Oculus Magazine. His article discusses recent improvements to Stapleton Library, among other branches of the New York Public Library system.
The New York Public Library commissioned this addition to the branch library for Stapleton, Staten Island. The existing 4,500 square foot 1907 Carrere and Hastings Carnegie Library was renovated with a new 8,000 square foot building located alongside.
Completed in June 2013, the new facility is a seamless assembly of the new and old. The new single-story structure features 18′ ceilings and is constructed of glue laminated Douglas fir posts, beams and joists, with a Douglas fir roof deck and masonry shear wall. The framed structure is exposed. The complexity of the exposed structure resulted in tight tolerances during construction to maintain the aesthetic of concealed connections.
Due to varying floor-to-ceiling heights and the chamfered connections required by the design, each column is unique. The timber was therefore prepared and cut off-site per GMS specifications and assembled in the field.
This work had to be executed within strict NYC Department of Design & Construction constraints. Andrew Berman Architect offered several options for the roof profile in order to obtain approval from the NYC Public Design Commission. GMS designed the connections to ensure they would be invisible and align as envisioned.
The library was conceived as a modern and vital public institution that will contribute to the revitalization of the urban center of Stapleton. It is designed to be an open, accessible, and intimate building.