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Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library

New York, NY
  • Image credit: Mecanoo.

The Mid-Manhattan Library (MML), originally built in 1914-15 as a department store, is NYPL’s largest circulating branch library. Although NYPL established full occupancy of the structure in 1970, the interior still had constraints related to the space’s original functions. One major goal of this renovation project was to add 35% more public space to the building, which receives approximately 1.7 million visits every year. Work at the site fell into two main categories: renovations within existing 6-story structure and a 3-story vertical addition. The signature feature of the renovation is the Long Room, which contains the library stacks and meeting rooms.

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Long Room

This alteration required the demolition of the 3rd and 4th floor slabs at the east side of the building, which Silman replaced with four new framing levels for the stacks. The floor slabs adjacent to the Long Room were removed at consecutive levels to create a multi-level open space. Bridges connect the main floor levels to the tiered levels of the Long Room.

Long Room

This alteration required the demolition of the 3rd and 4th floor slabs at the east side of the building, which Silman replaced with four new framing levels for the stacks. The floor slabs adjacent to the Long Room were removed at consecutive levels to create a multi-level open space. Bridges connect the main floor levels to the tiered levels of the Long Room.

Silman designed reinforcements of the existing roof framing at various locations to support the loading of the new vertical addition. The new addition itself was designed on a platform of new steel supported on new columns that align with the existing column locations.

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Vertical Addition

To allow for large open spaces, the steel-framed addition has columns spaced 20’-60’ apart. The floors and sloping roof are supported in large part by a combination of steel brace frames, moment frames, and trusses, concealed within the finishes and the mechanical service levels above.

Vertical Addition

To allow for large open spaces, the steel-framed addition has columns spaced 20’-60’ apart. The floors and sloping roof are supported in large part by a combination of steel brace frames, moment frames, and trusses, concealed within the finishes and the mechanical service levels above.

Silman also had a smaller scope of work in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, which improved event facilities and allowed it to fulfill some MML functions during construction. MML, which has been renamed as the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library, has a LEED Silver certification goal.

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