November 16, 2021

Dumbo Gets a New Public Library

Dumbo Library Delson or Sherman Architects PCWhat a thrill this summer to spot a giant “LIBRARY” painted across the façade of 9 Adams Street.  Could Dumbo actually get its own public library?  It’s been almost forty years since BPL last added a new branch.  We hoped this wasn’t just another store.

The supergraphics are almost too cool for an institution.  Huge white letters on an orange field run irreverently across both brick wall and windows.  The graphics manage to look utterly fresh and bold, while also harkening back to the painted brick billboards of the early industrial age.

Well, the library opened for real last month, and it’s even better than we’d hoped.  Though compact, it packs a lot of architecture into its small (6,565 s.f.) footprint.  There are zones for kids, teens, and adults, meeting rooms, staff offices, an info desk, and an efficient row of unisex bathrooms.

You can still see some of the exposed wood framing and rough brick of the former factory space.  But over that, organic layers of sinuous drywall and slotted plywood define and separate the spaces.  The raised floor of the kids’ area puts the breathtaking river views at kids’ eye level.  The ramp to the kids’ area fills its own room–a nod to the Laurentian Library?

Congrats to WorkAC for an outstanding job!