mecanoo replaces foster + partners for new york public library renovation
mecanoo replaces foster + partners for new york public library renovation
sep 17, 2015

mecanoo replaces foster + partners for new york public library renovation

mecanoo replaces foster + partners for new york public library renovation
all images courtesy of mecanoo




mecanoo has been selected to lead the renovation of the new york public library in midtown manhattan. the $300 million USD scheme will completely renovate the existing design by carrère and hastings, increasing public space for research and exhibitions at the stephen a. schwarzman building on 42nd street/fifth avenue. the project’s architect of record are beyer blinder belle, whose previous renovations include grand central terminal, ellis island, and new york city hall.


once complete, the structure will house a modern circulating library, a large education space, and a variety of areas for public programs and classes. mecanoo’s appointment comes after an eight-month selection process, with the dutch firm replacing foster + partners whose plans were thrown out last year. construction work is due to begin in late 2017, before concluding in 2019.

mecanoo new york public library midtown renovation designboom
the scheme plans to completely renovate the existing carrère and hastings-designed building




once the renovation is underway, work will begin on expanding public space at the stephen a. schwarzman building by approximately 42 percent. currently vacant or underutilized staff spaces will be transformed into expanded and improved facilities for researchers and writers.


over 100 years ago, our city leaders knew that a great nation required a library that was the beacon of its largest city – and that couldn’t be more true today,’ said tony marx, president of the new york public library. ‘this midtown renovation will provide today and tomorrow’s new yorkers the library they deserve to access information, study, write, enjoy our treasures, and all the other many wonderful forms of strengthening minds and our community at large that take place in a great library.’


libraries are the cathedrals of our time. it is the most important public building in a city,’ said francine houben founder and creative director of mecanoo. ‘our holistic approach – from library card to campus – aims to create a public library in the broadest sense, welcoming to all and capable of changing the course of individual lives through innovative spaces and services, for today and tomorrow. it is a great honor to have been selected for this project.


mecanoo is currently renovating washington, D.C.’s martin luther king, jr. memorial library, and recently completed the bruce c. bolling municipal building in boston.

  • Delighted with the change of architects. Will the original design and fabric be respected, or will this be a gut job only for contemporary tastes?

    Building Conservation International (BCI) is helping to start the new FREE hands-on Academy of Building Conservation for returning military veterans seeking additional skills for gainful civilian employment.

    Gersil N. Kay, IESNA, AIA/HRC

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