Every year, the American Institute of Architects partners with the American Library Association/Library Leadership and Management Association to honor the best in library architecture and design across the nation. The AIA/ALA Library Building Award is the only award that recognizes entire library structures and all aspects of their design. One of this year’s eight awards was bestowed upon Stapleton Library for its reconstruction and new addition.

The New York Public Library commissioned this addition to the branch library in Stapleton, Staten Island working with the NYC Department of Design & Construction. The existing 4,500 square foot 1907 Carrere and Hastings Carnegie Library was renovated with a new 8,000 square foot building located alongside.

Completed in June 2013, the new facility is a seamless assembly of the new and old. The new single-story structure features 18′ ceilings and is constructed of glue laminated Douglas fir posts, beams and joists, with a Douglas fir roof deck and masonry shear walls. The framed structure is exposed. The complexity of the exposed structure resulted in tight tolerances during construction to maintain the aesthetic of concealed connections.

Due to varying floor-to-ceiling heights and the chamfered connections required by the design, each column is unique. The timber was therefore prepared and cut off-site per GMS specifications and assembled in the field. This work had to be executed within strict DDC constraints.

Andrew Berman Architect offered several options for the roof profile in order to obtain approval from the NYC Public Design Commission. GMS designed the steel and timber connections to ensure they would properly support the loads, be invisible and align as envisioned.

The library was conceived as a modern and vibrant public institution that will contribute to the revitalization of the urban center of Stapleton. It is designed as an open, accessible, and intimate building.






Client: NYC Department of Design & Construction for the New York Public Library

Architect: Andrew Berman Architect

Structural Engineer: Gilsanz Murray Steficek