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ROBERT F. WAGNER MIDDLE SCHOOL LIBRARY

New York, NY

2,500 SF

Completed 2007

1/9

Proximity to the Asia Society, a prominent cultural institution, inspired the “wave” theme for this project.

 

This library is located in a 1953 school building on the Upper East Side. Charged with renovating the space to multiply its uses, the studio employed a variety of design techniques.

 

The Asia Society’s proximity to the school and Katsushika Hokusai’s famed woodblock print Under the Great Wave off Kanagawa inspired a “waves of knowledge” concept for the project, most actively expressed through deep shelving with an undulating soffit above and a waved floor pattern below.

 

The interstitial spaces in the new library create intimate areas in which young adults to read. Its sequence of spaces is articulated by modular and movable furniture that can easily be reconfigured, directly addressing the needs of the client. Study, meeting, and discussion areas are now available for students, teachers, and parents alike.

 

The library’s materials and technologies, such as shades that reduce glare but allow penetration of natural light, as well as energy efficient light fixtures, respond to the latest environmental standards and follow specific environmental requirements developed with the client. The use of light maple and dark walnut woods characterize the periphery and the middle section of the space.

 

This project is part of a transformative series of                                 school libraries that are expanding their educational purposes by unifying New York City student communities in new ways.

 

Selected Publications

 

CultureNOW - Wagner Middle School Library - 2012

 

AIANY New York Now - group exhibit - New York, NY - 2007