Norman Foster, the eminent British architect who has made something of a specialty out of inserting contemporary designs into historic buildings, has been selected for a major renovation of the New York Public Library’s landmark 1911 main building, on Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets.
The firm, Foster & Partners will create a new circulation library in a space below the library’s Rose Reading Room and overlooking Bryant Park that now houses seven levels of stacks and a basement. “It’s the greatest project ever,” Mr. Foster said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. NYTimes reports.
The area, which now measures 1.25 million cubic feet, will be completely reconfigured, with new rooms for children and teenagers and numerous computer work stations. The stacks are to move to an existing three-acre storage area beneath Bryant Park that is also to be renovated. Work is expected to be completed by 2013.
On the outside, the new Warren County (NC) Memorial Library on Warrenton's Front Street may look quiet, but inside, there is a rush of activity. That's because staff members and volunteers have been busy stocking shelves, setting up computer equipment and making sure everything is ready for the facility's grand opening on Saturday, Nov. 1.
"(Several) children and adults will bring their favorite book from the old library to the new library," Library Director Dr. Sue Loper said. "That will officially close the old library." Virginia North Carolina News has the story, and a photo of the library director along with a couple a good 'ol boys helping with the restoration of antique items from the old library.
Princeton University has embarked on a difficult task: to reinvent the library for an age when information largely takes on electronic rather than print form. The $74 million, 87,000-square-foot facility (Peter B. Lewis Science Library) was designed by architects Frank Gehry and Craig Webb of Gehry Partners. The stacks you'd expect to find in a building housing collections as varied as astrophysics, biology and statistics have largely been banished to a surprisingly small high-density storage space in the basement.
Nearly 13 years ago on Christmas Eve, Malta High School Librarian Penny Lind learned that unfortunate lesson when the high school and junior high burned to the ground, destroying a collection that had built up over the decades. The community responded immediately. Boxes and boxes of new and used books poured in to help fill the shelves — even though the shelves moved from a closet in the Catholic school to a garage and finally to the new building.
So this fall when fire ripped through the Huntley Project school on Sept. 18, Lind called on the Malta community to again step up, this time to help their Montana neighbors. Lots of books and lots of kindnesses.
What substance does not mix well with books?
Water, and unfortunately, plenty of it has been seeping into the library of the Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee for the last few years.
Now, safety fences are being built around the Florida Supreme Court Building as work begins to stop water seepage into the basement that destroyed more than 11,000 library books. By 2006, the water intrusion forced the library to discard 11,646 library books worth about $37,000 that had suffered enough damage that they no longer were usable. Court staff had to clear out areas of the basement, install dehumidifiers, and use water vacuum cleaners whenever there was a heavy rain.
Wonder if Katherine Harris was affected by the humidity there during her tenure as Secretary of State?
David Adjaye has won a competition to design two libraries in the heart of Washington DC. His practice was chosen ahead of 17 rivals to design modern replacements for the Washington Highlands library and Francis A Gregory library in the US capital. Each library will have a budget of approximately $9.5m (£5.3m)
The Tanzanian-born designer's concept was modeled after libraries built in the UK, called "Idea Stores", built in what is considered rough neighborhoods. They have a "retail look" to them, and from the outside, they look like they should be selling iPods or designer shoes, rather than housing books, short-term day care, aerobics facilities and Internet access. DC Library Director Ginnie Cooper thinks they will be successful in the Nation's Capital as well. Reports from Buildings UK and The Washington Post.
After Hurricane Ike slammed Galveston, TX, September 13, there was little immediate word regarding the Rosenberg Library (web site inoperative), the 75,000 square foot complex downtown that houses a library, archives, and museum and serves as the headquarters for the Galveston County Library System. Now, John Augelli, the library’s executive director, tells LJ that he and two other staffers stayed behind "thinking it would be good to be there, to see what I could do." Initially, that wasn't much. Instead, they listened, and watched, as a storm surge wiped out the first floor with over six feet of water. "It was a sound that you’d never forget."
Now, the library is at the beginning of a long recovery that began with pumping out the water, emptying the first floor of what used to be the children's collection, and drying out the space to ensure that humidity does not damage valuable archival material. The library still lacks phone and web service. When that is restored, the library will post information on how to help. For nearly a week, residents like Augelli didn’t even have cell phone service, relying instead on text messages.
"I have devoted every minute and all my energy to the recovery process," Augelli told LJ in a phone interview today.
Darrell Kilpack has been collecting rusty old stuff for a long time. He wanted to build a Western theme park on the property near 2700 South and 8900 West, Magna UT, planning to use old materials to give visitors a look into the past. ''This would be a heck of a facility,'' Kilpack said.
But Salt Lake County officials didn't have the same vision. The county condemned Kilpack's property after he refused to negotiate a sale and paid to have the piles of old tires, broken machine parts and frayed industrial gloves removed. About 70 percent of the material was in condition to be recycled, said Bruce Gibson, owner of the franchise that removed the refuse. "A lot of this has to be done by hand,'' Gibson said. ''There was just an amazing amount of hoarding being done.''
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the proposed library is scheduled to open by spring 2010. It will include a plaza and has been designed to fit the county's plan to revitalize Magna's Main Street.
It's Avondale's $6.2 million Old Town Library (pdf) and it opens on September 15th. Detroit-based SmithGroup designed and Tempe-based Sundt Construction built the state-of-the-art library.
"In addition to incorporating green and energy-efficient aspects into the building, the architecture makes good use of natural light to create an inviting atmosphere inside the library," said Dan Davis, Avondale's parks, recreation and libraries director. AZ Central reports.
What's an ecoroof you ask?
It's a vegetated rooftop achieved through planting carefully selected vegetation in specially designed soil layered over drainage material, all atop a conventional roofing membrane. It costs more than a traditional roof, but has many other benefits...triples roof life, reduces runoff, saves energy, absorbs carbon dioxide, gives off oxygen, etc. etc.
And it's going up atop Portland's Central Library. Tours of the library’s new roof may be offered to the public once the project is completed, said John Cabrera, a spokesman for the library.