We were excited to hear that the Queens skyline will be getting a new addition soon – a state of the art library in Hunters Point – and the architect chosen to bring the project to fruition piqued our interest about the new building even more. Inhabitat favorite Steven Holl Architects sent us renderings of the new Queens Library, and they reveal the structure to be a modern, glowing volume that will sit alongside the iconic Pepsi sign on the Long Island City waterfront. The library’s 100 percent recycled aluminum exterior gives it a subtle sparkle, and Holl’s office shared some of the building’s other green features with us as well – read on for the details.
In true Holl fashion, the library gives off a beckoning glow that the NY Times’ Nick Ouroussoff described as “looking a bit like ghosts trapped inside a machine.” In fact, the building almost resembles one of those souped-up, gamer computer towers with its diagonal cutouts and inner light. The library‘s fabric-formed concrete structure will be painted white inside and coated with a 100% recycled aluminum rainskin and the program will be separated into a children’s area, a teen area and an adult area, with one façade opening in the east side of the building for each section. The plan promises to be open and flowing, while at the same time compact, allowing for maximized public space and energy efficiency.
With the site’s million dollar views of the Manhattan skyline, it would be an absolute shame not to incorporate some outdoor space into the building’s plan, and Holl does not disappoint. Library-goers will be able to enjoy a garden and park with a patch of gingko trees and benches and tables to read a book or indulge in a snack. An elongated reflecting pond filled with recycled water will be the main attraction on the west side of the site. Trimmed with native grasses, the narrow strip of water will be home to frogs, turtles, and fish. Last but not least, a rooftop reading garden is sure to become a favorite spot to enjoy a book – though, we think the incredible views of midtown and the United Nations might be a bit of a distraction.