Author: Pintian Liu
Professor: Eva Perez de Vega
Pratt Institute- School of Architecture
250 Grand Street – New York Performing Arts Library focuses on the organization of the researchers and the public. Located at the edge of lower east side, the library is marked as a transitional neighborhood with Chinatown at its south, East Village at its north, and Soho at its West. The research archive situates at the south side of the library for maximum sun exposure and the public archive locates at the east side to satisfy public interest in the view. The void serves as a visual unifying gesture between the two and circulation – the open stairs, generates moments that public experiences the research archive. It also creates a street in the air typography by bringing outside all the way to the second floor, which is an open public space for small and casual performances.
The skin of the building follows the logic of spatial organization. On the east facade, horizontal bands of the skin are pinched up to expose the views for the public user. On the south side, the skin is pinched down to block the view whilst the opening on top addresses researchers’ need of sunlight. The interior partitions fold in from the negatives of the skin. In the research archive, the negatives of the skin are offset into interior to further filter sunlight. At night, the skin of the building becomes a forest of LED text. The south facade is showing a series of notations or bibliography, whilst the east facade is promoting the events of the library and different upcoming artists, based on different categories of archives on different levels. In this way, the library is not only dedicated to the users, but also faces the city as a self-annotating object.