Steven Holl-designed Hunters Point Library to finally open next month

August 23, 2019

Photo by Vitali Ogorodnikov for 6sqft

The long-awaited Hunters Point Library will open in Long Island City next month, more than eight years after its futuristic design was revealed, library officials announced Thursday. Designed by Steven Holl Architects, the concrete building with carved windows sits on the East River and boasts sweeping Manhattan views. After many construction and financial delays, the library will officially open on September 24.

Holl’s firm first unveiled its design in 2011, with plans to open the new branch in 2014. According to LIC Post, construction did not start until 2015 after the city had to increase the project’s budget to secure a contractor. In 2017, construction halted when a strike in Spain delayed the shipment of specialized glass. After facing more financial issues last July, work stopped again, pushing back the opening from this past February to late summer.

“While there have been moments of great frustration with delays,” Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents Long Island City, told the LIC Post. “I know that generations of children and families will benefit because we stayed the course, invested the money, and saw this project to its completion.”

The unique design includes glazed cuts in the exterior of the building that follow the movement of the stairs, which are flanked by shelves of books. According to the architects, the library is compact but open to allow for “the most energy-efficient design and the greatest amount of green space on the site.”

The library will contain 50,000 books, a children’s room, a quiet room, a rooftop area, and a community room with a 200-person capacity. The Hunters Point Library is the newest branch added to the Queens Public Library system since the Court Square location opened in 2007.

“It has taken many hands and a lot of teamwork to bring this spectacular building to life, a tremendous effort that will continue in the next month as we prepare for an opening celebration,” QPL President Dennis M. Walcott said in a statement. “We look forward to working with the community to serve Hunters Point and beyond, fulfilling a variety of needs in an inspiring setting.”


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