The main branch of the Newark Public Library is situated on Washington Park in the James Street Commons Historic District. The library is one of the most significant institutions in the life of the city, offering a wide range of programs and services to a diverse community. Recently, library leadership concluded that sustaining the library’s success into the 21st century meant careful assessment of the suitability of the library’s 1898 building for its current needs, thoughtful projection of future needs, and development of a roadmap for adapting the building to ensure that it continues to meet it service mission for years to come.
Working with library leadership and consulting with library staff in all departments, ABA’s design team investigated existing conditions by performing architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, building code, and accessibility reviews. The team collected information about the library’s collections, categorized the architectural and historic significance of its spaces, and developed a space program that acknowledges ongoing renovations, as well as the library’s current and future needs. Three conceptual options offer a range of renovation and expansion opportunities to be explored in the next phase of design.
Location: Newark, New Jersey
Project Team: Tom Hotaling AIA, Josh Aisenberg AIA, Carl Damas (ABA); Legacy Engineers (MEP / IT); Silman (Structural); Shawmut Design & Construction (Preconstruction Services); Jensen Hughes (Code)