LIVE from NYPL: Francine Houben & Elizabeth Leber: Designing a 21st-Century Library
The architects of NYPL’s all-new Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (SNFL) discuss designing physical space to meet the changing needs of libraries and New Yorkers.
Last year, The New York Public Library reopened the doors of its largest circulating branch, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (SNFL), after completing a three-year transformation, thanks to a generous gift from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). Architects Francine Houben, of Mecanoo, and Elizabeth Leber, of Beyer Blinder Belle, took the early 20th-century building, originally designed as a department store, and redesigned it from the inside out to be a dynamic new public space that serves as a house of knowledge, a gateway to inspiration, and a vibrant community center. The result is a new library that is not only beautiful and light-filled but also prepared to meet the ever-changing needs of the institution and the New Yorkers it serves.
Houben and Leber speak with architectural historian and professor Barry Bergdoll about their work on SNFL, and how mission-driven design enhances and empowers public spaces to serve communities now and a hundred years from now.
To join in-person | Please be sure to register for an In-Person Ticket. Doors will open around 6:15 PM. For free events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Priority will be given to those who have registered in advance, but registration does not guarantee admission. All registered seats are released shortly before start time, and seats may become available at that time. A standby line will form 30 minutes before the program.To join the livestream | A livestream of this event will be available on this NYPL event page. To receive an email reminder shortly in advance of the event, please be sure to register! If you encounter any issues, please join us on NYPL's YouTube channel.
COVID PROTOCOLS FOR IN-PERSON LIVE FROM NYPL PROGRAMS
The New York Public Library no longer mandates proof of vaccination at indoor public programs.
Patrons are strongly encouraged to wear a mask at LIVE from NYPL events.
If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or suspect you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, please stay home.
- Assistive listening devices and/or hearing loops are available at the venue.
- You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation or CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning service by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email email@example.com or use this Gmail template.
- This venue is fully accessible to wheelchairs. A visual navigation guide is available here.
- Captions and a transcript will be provided.
- Media used over the course of the conversation will be accompanied by alt text and/or audio description.
- You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email firstname.lastname@example.org or use this Gmail template.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Francine Houben is Founding Partner and Creative Director of Mecanoo. Her work ranges from theatres, museums and libraries to neighbourhoods, housing and parks. Each design is founded on the observationsof people, location, culture and climate. This analysis amounts to designs that respond to current needs yetare also prepared for (un)predictable change. She holds Honorary Fellowships of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC). Francinewas granted lifelong membership to the Akademie der Künste in Berlinand received the International Honorary Fellow Award by the Architecture Institute of Taiwan.
Elizabeth Leber is dedicated to advancing mission-based institutions through forward-looking architecture and planning projects. she excels at extracting the core objectives of her clients and their stakeholders and translating the collective needs and mission of institutions into creative architectural solutions. As Managing Partner of Beyer Blinder Belle, Leber is recognized for her ability to approach every challenge with a balance of creativity, pragmatism, and unfailing optimism. Her clients include leading universities such as Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as not-for-profit institutions including the New York Public Library and the 92nd Street Y. Liz is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (B.A., Art History) and Columbia University (M.Arch.).
Barry Bergdoll is Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History at Columbia University. His interests center on modern architectural history. He has studied questions of the politics of cultural representation in architecture, the larger ideological content of 19th-century architectural theory, and the changing role of both architecture as a profession and architecture as a cultural product in 19th-century Europe. He served as Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art from 2007 to 2013. He has worked on several film productions about architecture, in addition to curating numerous architecture exhibitions. He has written extensively on the history and problematics of exhibiting architecture, and the history of museological practices in relationship to architecture.
CONNECT WITH US
Sign up for our e-newsletters to stay up to date on upcoming events and Library offerings.
Please submit all press inquiries to Sara Beth Joren at least 48 hours before the event: email email@example.com or use this Gmail template.
For all other questions and inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or use this Gmail template.
SUPPORT THE LIBRARY
The New York Public Library's free services and resources are made possible thanks to the support of the Friends of the Library. Join this group of Library lovers and take advantage of special membership benefits, like invitations to members-only virtual events, discounts at the Library Shop, and more. Join now.
This program is made possible by the generous support of Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos.
LIVE from NYPL is made possible by the continuing generosity of Celeste Bartos, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos, the Margaret and Herman Sokol Public Education Endowment Fund, and the support of Library patrons and friends.