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PS 42 Robin Hood Foundation Library

The design envisions the library environment as an interim landscape: a fluid series of adaptable settings.

This renovated library for a public elementary school in Queens rethinks the place and purpose of the library within the school. Organized and funded by the Robin Hood Foundation, this pro-bono project is part of a 10-school pilot study.  

The design envisions the library environment as an interim landscape: a fluid series of adaptable settings. A curvilinear wall thick with books winds through the space. A curtain printed with a large word search can be drawn shut to enclose a smaller storytelling area and rolling bookshelves can stack to one side of the library to creating one large space. Custom-designed rolling ottomans can be arranged in a variety of playful settings. 

A winding wood-paneled wall, conceived as a "book worm," holds volumes and reading alcoves. 

Movable furniture pieces, such as custom-designed rolling ottomans, provide full flexibility to rearrange the space as wanted.

A movable theater scrim with random texts designed by Pentagram provides an intimate and flexible reading area within the main library space. 

Formerly a gymnasium, the library includes a new perimeter wall that wanders among existing columns, creating study niches, reading alcoves, and maximizing book display. 

The school's previous library was a converted fourth-floor classroom that was physically and visually isolated from the core of the elementary school's activities. The library was relocated to the ground floor giving it a more central role in the school's daily rhythms. 

With its detailed prosaic materials, varied lighting, broad windows, and multiple computer stations, the library is a place that encourages learning and social interaction. 

AIA Honor Award AIA National
AIA Excellence in Design Award AIA New York State
Robin Hood Foundation Library: P.S. 42 The Power of Pro Bono
Robin Hood Foundation Library: P.S. 42 The L!brary Book: Design Collaboration in the Public Schools
Architecture for Children El Pais Semanal
Significant Interiors The American Institute of Architects
Contemporary World Interiors Phaidon
Interior Awards Annual American Institute of Architecture
New New York: Architecture Of A City Rizzoli/Skira
Playtime PS 42, Far Rockaway, Queens: Power Of Place, A School Play Metropolis Magazine
Robin Hood Foundation Library, PS 42 Architecture Magazine