In the finalized design, the building’s aluminum facade has been swapped with “aluminum painted” concrete that is intended to have the same shimmering effect. Amorphous windows cut across the boxy structure, giving it a distinctive profile against the glass curtain walls of the Queens waterfront. From inside, the library’s unique windows provide views to Roosevelt Island and Manhattan. “The program’s separation into children’s area, teen area, and adult area can be read in the sculpted cuts of the east face of the building, one facade opening for each area; yet the programmatic divisions are fluid,” said Steven Holl Architects in a statement. At night, the building is intended to glow from inside.
The library also includes a communal reading garden and a public art installation by Julianne Swartz. When completed at the end of 2017, the Hunters Point library will service the quickly growing residential community on the former industrial site. This project also incorporates the creation of a new 1,260-square-foot ranger station for the adjacent Gantry Plaza State Park. That structure has a reception area, restrooms, and park manager’s office.
“The new library will be transformational, for the community and for the skyline, said Bridget Quinn-Carey, Interim President and CEO of the Queens Library, in an email to AN. “Queens Library is grateful to the many, many stakeholders and advocates who came together to move this important project forward. The new Queens Library is truly the work of many hands and many hearts.”