snøhetta's far rockaway library in new york will feature translucent glass façades

snøhetta's far rockaway library in new york will feature translucent glass façades

construction work has begun on a snøhetta-designed library in far rockaway, a coastal neighborhood in the new york city borough of queens. located at the intersection of mott and central avenues, the previous facility played an important role in the history of the neighborhood, serving as a disaster relief center during hurricane sandy in 2012. the new building will replace the existing facilities, which date back to 1962, doubling the amount of available space.

snohetta far rockaway library
all images © snøhetta + doug and wolf



snøhetta’s design is a simple volume clad in fritted glass with a tall triangular glass opening at its corner. the architects say that the simple form will provide a calm contrast to the visual noise of the surrounding retail outlets, while the color of the glass used calls to mind the hues and tones of the site’s coastal skies. ‘the combination of transparency and translucency of the façade provides an awareness of the activity within as well as a degree of privacy for occupants of the library,’ explains the design team.

snohetta far rockaway library
the project broke ground in november 2018



the interior is organized around an inverted pyramidal atrium, which provides the building with daylight, views, and clear circulation routes. as well as increasing services for the neighborhood, it is hoped that the library will serve as a catalyst for the community’s continued transformation in the wake of hurricane sandy. the far rockaway branch library is seeking LEED gold certification, and will be sited at an elevation exceeding the new FEMA flood zone guidelines. the project is scheduled to open in 2021.

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