Formerly called the Mid-Manhattan Library, the steel and granite library dates from 1914 and was built as a department store.
Its original structure has been retained and the renovation introduces a three-storey “vertical library”, business and educational facilities and a publicly accessible rooftop garden and café.
The mechanical equipment of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library’s (SNFL) is now concealed by a blue aluminium structure designed to echo the copper-clad mansard roofs of the neighbouring beaux-arts buildings.
“The SNFL is a powerhouse of wisdom,” said Mecanoo partner Francis Houben.
“Its street presence brings drama and magic to Manhattan, visibly expressed with its wizard hat.”