New York Public Library

New York, NY

New York Public Library

New York, NY

The Hudson Park Library branch of the New York Public Library (NYPL) has served Greenwich Village since 1906, and it was expanded eastward in 1920. In 2014 New York City Council and NYPL tapped Sharon Davis Design to rethink the 18,900-square-foot facility in preparation for a possible gut renovation. The commission aimed to improve the user experience, with an emphasis on the entry sequence and daylighting.

In turn, the design first reorganizes the library, by shifting its entrance from Leroy Street to the more highly trafficked Seventh Avenue. Inside a new double-height volume that serves as both lobby and living room, guests may orient themselves, socialize, or browse new publications and exhibition content. Bustling activity also provides counterpoint to the upstairs reading room, which is dedicated to quiet learning. Services and storage are relocated to one side of the reading room to effect a feeling of generous, highly organized space. Here, too, light-colored furniture and fixtures amplify the incoming sun, while the reuse of existing interior elements—namely, exposed brick walls and wooden bookshelves—convey fiscal responsibility.

Located adjacent to the reading room at the top of the main stairway, a new circulation desk permits simultaneous monitoring of all common areas. The renovation concept also reimagines the second-floor children and young adult reading rooms as energizing spaces for individual and collaborative learning, as well as events.