Monday, January 23, 2006

Sustainable, "Green" Architecture: The New York Public Library Bronx Library Center

"Designed by Dattner Architects, and constructed by F. J. Sciame Construction, the five-story, "green," or sustainable, structure features an open glass façade that communicates a sense of its internal activity and multiple functions and spaces.

Built on the site of a building formerly owned by Con Edison, the open-floor glass building maximizes an abundance of natural light. A distinctive swooping roof tops the library's glass façade. Each floor is accentuated by open views to the busy thoroughfare of East Kingsbridge Road; streaming daylight nearly eliminates the need for overhead lighting in the public spaces. Windows are lined by banks of comfortable tables, armchairs, and other seating, enabling collective study. Sleekly designed central reference desks are readily accessible on each floor, and clear sight lines improve communication between users and library staff. Conference rooms, available to organizations within the community, are located throughout the building. Ample storage ensures that the Library can continue to grow its collections in the decades to come. Sweeping views of the Bronx skyline, the New York Botanical Garden, and Fordham University's clock tower physically situate the Library within its local community.

The Bronx Library Center building is The New York Public Library's first "green" facility. With its use of local and recycled materials, energy-efficient systems, air quality controls, and natural light, the structure is designed to reduce operating costs and minimize its impact on the environment."

Photo credit: Denis Finnin for The New York Public Library


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