By Victoria Merlino
The finished product is still three years away, but the new and improved Far Rockaway Library is already earning praise from design and architecture experts.
Over the next three years, the library, located at 1637 Central Ave., will undergo a $33 million renovation. The current building, which closed Sept. 28, will be demolished. In its place will rise a state-of-the-art building that doubles the current library’s size, according to an announcement made by the Queens Public Library.
The design website Arch Paper called the planned space a “dreamy vision.” The project also earned New York City’s annual award for Excellence in Design.
Designed by Norwegian firm Snøhetta, the new library will be covered in tall windows, with the entryway being transparent with a tall, pyramidal shape.
“The combination of transparency and translucency of the façade provides an awareness of the activity within as well as a degree of privacy for occupants of the library,” Snøhetta said in a statement, adding that building’s “inverted pyramidal atrium” will enable natural light to illuminate the space.
The library will be energy efficient, seeking LEED Gold Certification and include a blue roof that will capture storm water. Other new features include designated children’s and teen spaces, an ADA-compliant entrance, restrooms, a large meeting room, additional computer stations, a quiet room and self-check in and check out.
The library is part of the Downtown Far Rockaway rezoning plan, with other major new developments in the area seeking to improve life in the community and expand economic opportunity.
The 50-year-old library is well-used by the community.
In 2012, it provided aid and support to residents in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The new library will be elevated to comply with new FEMA flood zone guidelines to protect against future storms.
The library is slated to open 2021.