The library at this primary school is located within the historic 1895 C.B.J. Snyder building on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, facing the neighborhood’s Carnegie Library. Focusing on the room’s future functions, the client was seeking flexible spaces to expand its everyday use. The studio’s solution incorporated existing historic elements into a new, contemporary design that created a variety of new spaces where students, teachers, and parents could study, lounge, and discuss.
A new high, undulating ceiling with integrated lighting, wood paneling with inbuilt shelving, and poured seamless flooring were introduced in the raw space, leaving its historic aspects intact. A stepped niche at the windowed corner became the storytelling area, including low storage for children. Computer tables are situated near the librarian’s desk for ease of use as needed. The sequence of spaces is articulated by modular and movable furniture that can be reconfigured easily, producing the client’s desired flexibility.