Foster+Partners revealed plans to renovate the New York Public Library today, a massive redesign that will alter the face of the classic building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.
Currently, only 30 percent of the library is open to the public, but the renovation will allow the public to access 66 percent of the building. The project will move the inaccessible book stacks to “a large humidity-controlled chamber under Bryant Park,” replacing these stacks with circulating books–bringing the Mid-Manhattan collections and the Science, Industry and Business Library into the new space.
Here’s more from the release: “The 13,000 structural points of the existing stacks will be replaced with an innovative new vaulted stone and steel cradle. This move will free the floors from the west façade, allowing them to be peeled back to form a series of balconies – in the process revealing the full height of the slender windows internally for the first time. New study areas will line the perimeter of the balconies and new reading platforms will sit beneath the vaulted ceilings, which are carefully attuned to ensure excellent acoustic performance. The materials palette and design of the interiors will evolve with further development. The current combination shows bronze, wood and stone, which will age gracefully with the passage of time and use. A new internal atrium runs the full length of the base of the circulation library, connecting the visitor facilities to the building’s accessible entrance on 42nd Street.”