Branch Library at Audubon Terrace
The 2017 Lyceum Competition focuses around the public library as our most democratic institution, its foundational goals to make educational opportunity available to all and to serve as civic center for its community. As such, it is a bridge between immediate local needs and broader public ideals.
The project is a small branch library, essentially today’s equivalent of the historic Carnegie Libraries. The site on Audubon Terrace in Manhattan, between 155th and 156th Streets on Broadway, is one of change and need. Once a home of the upper class and elite, by the late 20th century it had fallen prey to crime and urban decay. Today this is a community of hope, with a great deal to be done. The library facility is aspirational and will begin to bridge what appears to be an abyss separating past and future.
The project must negotiate between two levels of public access: 156th Street, which will serve as the library’s neighborhood entrance; and Audubon Terrace, an ennobled space, raised above and separated from the street.