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Hunters Point Library brings rooftop reading garden, community-devoted space to the Long Island City waterfront

Steven Holl Architects designed the building.

September 26, 2019 |
hunters point library at day

© Paul Warchol

The recently opened Queens Public Library at Hunters Point forgoes the recent trend of incorporating libraries into high-end residential towers and instead opts to stand independently on its 32,000 sf site along the East River.

Designed by Steven Holl Architects, the Hunters Point Library’s facade consists of exposed concrete and painted aluminum stamped with large amorphous windows to let in natural light. The glazed cuts in the facade also provide users with views towards the river and the city as they move up a series of bookshelf flanked stairs.


Interior hunters point library© Steven Holl Architects


The building’s interior uses bamboo as a building material to create a warm, inviting social space for the community. The children’s area, teen area, and adult area can be clearly seen from the exterior of the building in the cuts of the east face of the building; there is one facade opening for each area, but inside the programmatic divisions are fluid. The building section is open and flowing to allow for the most energy-efficient design and the greatest amount of public green space on the site.


Hunters point library at night© Paul Warchol.


There are also two reading gardens on site: one on the east entrance side of the building that is bordered by a low park office pavilion, and one on the building’s roof that offers panoramic views of the city.

The Hunters Point Library is located at 47-40 Center Boulevard in Long Island City, N.Y. and is open Monday through Saturday.

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