The New York City Department of Design and Construction has awarded the contract to build the new Far Rockaway Branch of the Queens Public Library.
EW Howell Construction Group will build the two-story, 17,500 s/f library designed by Norwegian-based architects Snøhetta.
The lirbary will replace the existing 8,000 s/f building at 1637 Central Avenue in Far Rockaway and double the area of library space offered to patrons. Completion is expected in Fall 2020.
“The new Far Rockaway Branch Library, with its one-of-a-kind design, will be a prized part of the community,” said John K. Hagen, P.E., vice president of the education division at EW Howell.
“The project’s construction, with all of its intricate details, is unique, though becoming somewhat of a trend as we see cities looking to transform public spaces like libraries and parks into the focal point of their communities.”
During Hurricane Sandy, the Far Rockaway Branch Library was used to provide disaster relief. The new building will increase the amount of and access to services provided to the neighborhood.
Located less than a mile from the Rockway Beach Boardwalk, it will be sited at an elevation exceeding the new FEMA flood zone guidelines and will seek to achieve LEED Gold certification.
It will be clad in fritted glass, colored in a light shade. The fritting will provide a combination of transparency and translucency that will give passerby a sense of the activity within the library, while giving a degree of privacy for library occupants.
The library’s entryway features a tall transparent glass pyramidal opening at the corner of Mott and Central avenues.