Conor Barry

Conor Barry

New York, NY, US


Brooklyn Library

This project re-imagines the role of the public library in contemporary urban life. At a moment when libraries are perceived to be under threat from a shrinking public realm on one side and digitization on the other, this proposal creates a civic space for the circulation of knowledge in all media.

All public program, including a lounge, computer labs, maker space and work space is housed in a glass cube that appears to hover above the public plaza adjacent to Fulton Street. This volume is separated from the existing city block and placed in the center of the plaza at the intersection of three major thoroughfares. Visitors can approach from all sides and ascend into the cube from below - an entry strategy designed to convey the openness and transparency of the project as well as the importance of the library’s role as a place of higher learning in modern society. All other program such as office space, administration and meeting rooms are located in a second building that knits into the existing urban fabric and is connected to the main library on an underground level.

The cube is supported by a sculptural core that provides access to each level. Every floor plate is hung from a system of steel trusses above, eliminating the need for columns at the ground floor. Tables and book shelves are also hung so that no furniture touches the ground - reinforcing the concept of floating throughout the building.

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Status: School Project
Location: Brooklyn, NY, US