The structure is a free standing, 20,000 sq. ft. new branch library structure, incorporating the principles of sustainable design. Sen Architects have received the NYC Art Commission Award and SARA Awards for Design Excellence for this structure.
The library, has a strong and welcoming Civic presence. It has a transparency, which reveals the great reading spaces within. The library is an example of "green" architecture that is an architecture which is environmentally responsive.
The first floor consists of the main circulation desk, the main reading area, stack area and a separate section for young adults. In addition, there is a meeting room, with capabilities for multimedia located in the basement. The second floor is primarily for younger users with necessary staff and book stacks. A central feature of this Library is a Sky lit reading area, this skylight combined with the main North side glazing, bathes the entire library with Natural light all throughout the daylight hours.
"Libraries have become an enormously important community resource for people of every age group "said Department of Design and Construction Commissioner David J. Burney, FAIA at the ground breaking ceremony 2 years ago. "DDC is especially proud of managing this project. The strategies and sustainable elements applied in the design of this library will serve as a model in producing other LEED certified libraries throughout the city"
The structure will create a healthier and more energy efficient environment for patrons and staff. Natural lighting will provide light into the buildings interior spaces by using large skylights with glare control devices. The skylight is protected by a fixed louver system above it, which controls the glare in the interior and filters the light, providing a very comfortable light level all throughout the daylight hours
The library will also utilize sustainable design elements and materials made from recycled content. Storm water run-off will be reduced by planting drought resistant plantings and water permeable pavings, fossil fuel use will be reduced with energy efficient condensing hot water boilers, heat pumps, rubber flooring made from tires and concrete made with fly-ash.
The New Kensington Branch Library was presented with an Award for Excellence in Design of a Public Project by the Design Commission.