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POETS HOUSE battery park city, ny

Firm / louise braverman architect Principal Architects / louise braverman project type / library images / provided by poets house

New York’s famous Poets House holds more than 50,000 volumes of poetry. Skimming along all the titles, it is difficult to resist just picking one at random and curling up to read in a corner. And given the library’s friendly-yet-minimalist aesthetic, it’s easy to feel comfortable and spend the entire day immersed in the collection. That, ultimately, was Louise Braverman’s goal. Poets Houses sits across from Battery Park, so she created a light-filled space designed around the idea of literal transparency. “It’s not just minimal for minimal’s sake,” Braverman says of her design decision. The architect built out the building’s exterior walls using double-story windows, and then enclosed the central gallery space and children’s library in a glass core. From the street, people passing by see the activity inside and feel compelled to come in, while from the interior, library patrons can look out and be inspired by their surroundings. Although the pleasant look and feel of the Poets House reading rooms could entice even the most hesitant poetry reader, it’s the auditorium that really captures the essence of the building. “I wanted to achieve that highbrow, low-brow attitude of poets, which is most evident in the auditorium,” Braverman says, explaining that the contrast is best captured by the glass garage door that opens the room to the nature outside. “It’s a very inclusive environment that creates a relationship with the community-oriented projects in the surrounding park,” she adds. And that is the collection’s goal: to foster a love for poetry by bringing it out into the world.

Project Credits Cauldwell Wingate

PUBLIC PLACES

DESIGN BUREAU

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Architecture: Volume 1  

A Special Edition From Design Bureau 2012

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