New York Public Library – 53rd Street Branch

Natural and electric light kindle a harmonious environment for reading enthusiasts.

The famous New York Public Library was relocated to an ideal place across from MOMA. The paradigm shift in libraries allows this project design by Enrique Norten to create more of a cultural space within a traditional library setting.

The lighting challenge involves capturing available daylight from the expansive two story glass facade into the night experience. A monolithic louver system with integral LED lighting will provide the ephemeral glow to the multi-purpose bleacher seating stairs. The architecture and lighting become a seamless integration from daylighting/dimming controls to naturally modulate light. Designed for the digital age, emphasis is placed on collaborative “hang out” areas rather than traditional shelves of repository books.

Project Highlights

• Above & below street level space
• Integrated LED lighting
• LEED Silver Anticipated


TEN Arquitectos


Project Background

• 28,000 square feet
• $20 million


Illuminating Engineering Society (IES)
• Edwin F. Guth Memorial Award for Interior Lighting Design
• Illumination Award of Merit

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