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New York Public Library Will Be Revamped by Dutch Firm

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The New York Public Library is looking to the Dutch, not the Danish, for its $300 million overhaul. The New York Times reports that architecture firm Mecanoo has been hired to renovate the library's landmarked Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and completely revamp the Mid-Manhattan branch. Whatever Mecanoo creates—there is no design yet—will replace the much-hated Norman Foster plan that the library originally proposed in late 2012. That plan eliminated the library's historic stacks and enraged a lot of people, so the library gave Foster the boot last year.

"The building should be about the journey of learning," Mecanoo's founding partner and creative director Francine Houben told the Times. "Maybe you come in for a book but also take lessons in English." The architect of record will be the preservation experts, Beyer Blinder Belle.

UPDATE: An anonymous tipster tells us that the other three finalists were Grimshaw Architects, Robert A.M. Stern Architects, and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects.

This will be Mecanoo's first project in New York City and only their third project in the United States. They are also renovating the Mies van der Rohe-designed Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C.
· Public Library Hires Dutch Firm for Renovations [NYT]
· New York Public Library May Get a Bjarke Ingels Renovation [Curbed]
· All NYPL coverage [Curbed]
· Mecanoo [official]

NYPL - Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

455 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY