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Sustainable Design Strategy

1100 Architect - Battery Park City Filiale der New York Libary - New York

  • © Michael Moran/OTTO. Courtesy of 1100 Architect
  • © Michael Moran/OTTO. Courtesy of 1100 Architect
  • Bright, open and plenty of space © Michael Moran/OTTO. Courtesy of 1100 Architect
  • The negative space of the stairs serves as seats © Michael Moran/OTTO. Courtesy of 1100 Architect.
  • Eye contact © Michael Moran/OTTO. Courtesy of 1100 Architect
  • © Michael Moran/OTTO. Courtesy of 1100 Architect
  • Plenty of space © Michael Moran/OTTO. Courtesy of 1100 Architect
  • © Michael Moran/OTTO. Courtesy of 1100 Architect
  • Layout first floor © 1100 Architect
  • Layout upper floor © 1100 Architect
Since 1990, the population of Battery Park City in the Southwest of Manhattan has doubled. The new library is part of the growing infrastructure.

Battery Park City is a quarter in the Southwest of  Manhatten/New York, erected between 1967 and 1976 at the shore of Hudson River on a plot of raised land. Here, since March 2010, you will find the Battery Park City branch of New York Library, on the two bottom levels of a residential building,  planned and realized in a sustainable way. For the library, three rooms were connected with each other to form one single space. The re-design was planned by German-American architecture firm 1100 Architect, having representatives in Frankfurt and New York.

Fully glazed    

To the 1100 Architect team is was of major importance to create a meaningful architecture. This way the wanted to attract the attention of the people of Battery Park City towards the new branch of New York Library. The best idea was to equip the façade of the building part containing the library with an end-to-end glass wall. The interpretation of this architecture: Inside and outside enter into a dialog, visitors as well as people passing by are accompanied by insights and views. Apart from that, the brightly and openly designed rooms create a pleasant and friendly atmosphere, and they emphasize the furniture’s open design.

The 975 square meters large library has the function of a self-service library. This is why it was decisive for the plans to have a clear layout. Visitors must be able to orientate themselves quickly. The clarity of the structure is emphasized through plenty of smart ideas, such as the folded levels of the dynamically structured ceilings, providing the building with homogeneity.


Via North End Avenue you enter the building through the main entrance and get into the front main part of the library, right where the information desk is. Opposite of it you will see a free flight of stairs. The architects deliberately decided in favor of a central arrangement of the stairs. Visitors are supposed to be encouraged to not take the lift. However, the stairs do not only have their classic function, but they also are a sculpture of steel and concrete. Apart from that, it also provides a colorful landscape of seats for reading and staying. This area also has a separate reading zone for little children and elementary school kids. A wide hallway leads the visitor to the back of the ground floor, meant to be made for teenagers and adults. The first upper floor looks like a gallery and has a visual line of sight to the level below. A reading and computer area as well as a staff room and the office are located here.

Energy-efficiency in Detail

The order of the day issued by Battery Park City Authority was to design and build a sustainable library. This is what 1100 Architect have realized through many energy-efficient solutions. The whole building has low-energy lamps and movement alert systems.  A daylight dimming function measures the daylight level inside the building and regulates the required level of deployed lighting. Most of the materials used are recyclable and sustainable substances.

Certified Library

These measures makes Battery Park City library the most environment-friendly branch of New York Library and is going to receive the  LEED–Gold Certificate in the near future. This is a four-level rating awarded by the U.S Green Building Council to sustainably designed buildings; you can have Regular, Silver, Gold and Platinum. A special point system is used for evaluating the site concept, water and energy consumption, materials and the level of environment-friendly interior design of the building.


1100 Architect


Completion: March 2010


Floor area: 975 m²

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