The New York Public Library gave starchitect Norman Foster the boot last year, and officials are currently trying to decide which architecture firm will replace Foster to redesign its landmarked Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. In April, it was reported that Robert A.M. Stern and Studio Gang Architects were among the eight finalists, and now a few more names have been tossed out as contenders. Theodore Grunewald, Vice President of the Committee to Save the New York Public Library, a preservationist group that helped lead the charge against the much-hated Foster plan, reports that Bjarke Ingels and Ennead Architects are also being considered. If Ingels is selected, this will be the second high-profile New York City project on which he has usurped Norman Foster, which means that there is officially a British vs. Danish architectural rivalry or, uh, something.
UPDATE: An anonymous tipsters tells us that this intel is "old," and "3/4 of the mentioned firms have been out of the running for months now. There are four finalists and only one has been identified in the press. Of the four, two are American and two are internationally headquartered. NYPL will pick this month."
In June, it was announced that 2 World Trade Center will be designed by Ingels, not Foster. Foster's cluster of crystals was widely love, but no one was particularly outraged when Ingels was chosen to re-do the skyscraper. However, people were most definitely pissed when the library unveiled Foster's stack-killing plan. When library officials announced the change of plans, they said that they will keep the historic stacks in place, so unless Ingels turns the library into an undulating undulating, ski slope-topped, energy-producing tetrahedron, everything should be fine. That is, of course, if he is selected.
Grunewald tweeted out the Ingels's name yesterday afternoon. When reached for comment via email, he said his sources are "impeccable" and Save NYPL wants "greater transparency from the New York Public Library with respect to such a far-reaching
architectural plan." He continued, "What will our library be? Physical changes are dramatic and hard to reverse. The momentum behind these new plans is again, very strong. The public should be able to see these plans now."
The library also plans to sell the Science, Industry and Business Library on Madison Avenue, and move those services to Midtown. The six-story Mid-Manhattan circulating library will also be renovated and programming there will be expanded.
· 8 Firms Vie to Renovate the New York Public Library [Curbed]
· All NYPL coverage [Curbed]
· Save NYPL [official]