We’re building a new library in Brooklyn Heights. At over 26,000 square feet, the new library will have more public space than any other branch in Brooklyn and a bright, open design with flexible spaces for books, programs and technology.
The new, City-owned Brooklyn Heights Library will anchor a mixed-use building topped by market-rate condominiums, developed by Hudson Companies. This project will generate $40 million for repairs at other branches in Brooklyn and create over 100 affordable housing units in Brooklyn’s Community Board 2.
After a two-year public process, this project was approved by Community Board 2, the City Planning Commission, the New York City Council and the Brooklyn Borough Board. BPL expects to begin construction on the new Brooklyn Heights Library soon. The Library’s contract with Hudson stipulates that the new branch be built within 3.5 years.
Interim library service is being provided at 109 Remsen Street. The interim library’s resources include a curated collection for Brooklyn Heights, 34 laptops for adults and children, an adaptable program room and the same experienced, dedicated staff from 280 Cadman Plaza West. The interim space was completely fitted out by Hudson at no cost to Brooklyn Public Library. The Business & Career Center relocated to Central Library in June 2016, where it will operate in an interim location until its permanent home opens.
Proposed Design for Brooklyn Heights Library
In 2015, Marvel Architects held three public community planning workshops and conducted online surveys. These workshops, as well as interviews with library staff, planning sessions with teenagers and regular meetings with librarians influenced the proposed design.
The proposed design features:
- The new library will be 26,620 square feet, making it the largest branch in Brooklyn.
- 7,500 linear feet of books–the same amount as the previous Brooklyn Heights Branch Library and the Business and Career Library combined.
- A dramatic adult reading room, spanning from Cadman Plaza to Clinton Street with double-height ceilings.
- An amphitheater seating 70 and a Community Room seating 150. This second room will be accessible independently of most of the branch, so it can be used outside of library hours.
- A children’s area filled with natural light and designed for programs and collections for our littlest patrons, birth through elementary school.
- A dedicated teen library space, the first of its kind in Brooklyn Heights.
- Three conference and meeting rooms that can be reserved online with a library card, and collaborative co-working seating throughout the library.
This proposed design is not yet final and no materials or colors have been selected as of this release. We welcome your feedback in the form on this page.
Visitors entering the new library will be met with welcome desks, checkout kiosks and seating in a brightly lit double-height space filled with books.
To the left of the main entrance visitors walk into our dramatic and light-filled reading room, spanning from Cadman Plaza to Clinton Street with double-height ceilings. This space will have a dedicated area for business resources and a sweeping staircase up to the mezzanine.
The main focus of the lower level is our dedicated children’s area, drenched in natural light entering through 250 square foot light well. Accessible through a staircase directly adjacent to the main entrance as well as an elevator bank, the children’s wing has shelves of books, play spaces, learning spaces, as well as multiple program rooms that will accommodate a variety of uses of different volumes.
This teen space is another new addition to the library on Cadman Plaza, reflecting our commitment to growing young adult services in our new library beyond just books. The proposed design, on the upper mezzanine overlooking the Reading Room, allows for young adults to have their own flexible and inviting space separate from the children’s area, with a teen-centric focus on social and collaborative work and play, while still maintaining passive supervision and assistance by library staff.
Amphitheater — Interior
Our amphitheater sits in the prow of the library with double height ceilings and three walls of glass looking out to Cadman Plaza and Clinton Street. This space can host performances, talks and programs for a seated audience of 70. The amphitheater will have plenty of power outlets and comfortable seating options, so it can be used outside of programs as a great spot for casual working, collaboration, conversation or a sunny place to read. It’s also a stairway up to the mezzanine level, allowing for discovery and exploration between all the levels of our library
Amphitheater — Exterior
Our amphitheater sits in the prow of the library with double height ceilings and three walls of glass looking out to Cadman Plaza and Clinton Street. This space can host performances, talks and programs for a seated audience of 70. The amphitheater will have plenty of power outlets and comfortable seating options, so it can be used outside of programs as a great spot for casual working, collaboration, conversation or a sunny place to read. It’s also a stairway up to the mezzanine level, allowing for discovery and exploration between all the levels of our library.
At the other end of our lower level from the children’s wing, the proposed design includes an auditorium that can seat 150 people as well as an elevated stage designed for small performances, staged readings and author talks. This room will be accessible independently of the majority of the library, allowing for programs outside of normal library hours. This room can be used for both adult programs as well as larger story times.