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Friday01 August 2014

Norman Foster presents New York Public Library plans

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Twice as much of the building will be open to the public

Norman Foster has presented his plans for the renovated New York Public Library at the Stephen A Schwarzman Building on 42nd Street in Manhattan.

The proposals will see a new home designed for the circulating collections, replacing the existing book stacks which currently take up seven storeys below the Rose Reading Room.

The stacks are inaccessible to the public and the books will be moved to a humidity-controlled chamber under Bryant Park.

This means the existing stacks can be removed and replaced with a new library, housing the Mid-Manhattan collections and the Science, Industry and Business Library.

Foster said: “Our design does not seek to alter the character of the building, which will remain unmistakeably a library in its feel, in its details, materials and lighting.

“The parts that are currently inaccessible will be opened up, inviting the whole of the community – it is a strategy that reflects the principles of a free institution upon which the library was first founded.”

Visitors will enter the new circulation library on a balcony in the centre of the former book stack space. From here a grand staircase will lead down to the main level.

The project would more than double the space currently open to the public.

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