Brooklyn Public Library Sunset Park
The Sunset Park branch of Brooklyn Public Library requires an interim library space to serve its community during the construction of a new library and affordable housing on its existing site. Located in a former courthouse building, the temporary location shares space with the NYPD and the local community board. The updated design addresses the needs of the existing branch, such as providing flexible multipurpose space to maintain the current programming, and separate adult and children’s reading areas. With a vibrant color palette and warm materials, the new library is a clear differentiation from the existing classical revival building in which it is housed. The finished space is inviting and joyful, and celebrates the Sunset Park Library’s continuing role as a vital resource within its community.
Inspired by the community’s deep involvement in the library’s educational programming, we saw an opportunity for community members to make an artistic mark on the space — window shading comprised of screens and sculptural mobiles. Collaborating with students from the Center for Family Life, LSS architects are continuing community engagement even after project completion, maintaining the momentum started in the beginning stages of design by Hester Street and their community workshops. In an LSS-led workshop, students created mobiles representing a range of themes they thought should be represented in their community’s library — diversity, the future, and the neighborhood. Reflecting the community-minded development Sunset Park library has been pursuing, the full-scale pieces illustrate how different themes and ideas can be pulled together into one cohesive and collective design.
Brooklyn Public Library Sunset Park recieved an AIA/ALA National Library Building Design Award and a MASterworks Award for Best Adaptive Reuse Project.