Brooklyn Public Library
Design Guidelines

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Louise Harpman, architect

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The Design Trust’s inaugural project paired the Brooklyn Public Library and New York City’s newly-formed Department of Design & Construction in a year-long study to develop recommendations for all of Brooklyn’s branch libraries. The resulting 78-page illustrated manual, Brooklyn Public Library Design Guidelines, was distributed to all of the Library’s potential architectural and engineering consultants in order to promote design excellence in renovation, restoration, and new construction projects.

Design Trust Fellow Louise Harpman led a series of interagency, participatory workshops to research the most innovative and up-to-date thinking on library design. In addition to distilling the knowledge and expertise developed over the years by Library staff and the City's in-house designers, these workshops also featured presentations by industry experts on state-of-the-art solutions to existing and emerging library design challenges.

Ms. Harpman also conducted extensive one-on-one consultations with all levels of City and Library staff and various expert, private-sector professionals. At the time, DDC Deputy Commissioner Hillary Brown called the overall workshop experience "a model for public/private collaboration." Ms. Brown's interest in the guidelines, and the innovative process through which they were developed, eventually led to two later Design Trust projects, High Performance Building Guidelines and Greening Infrastructure in the Public Right-of-Way.

© 2012 Design Trust for Public Space, 40 Worth Street, Suite 603, New York NY 10013  212.695.2432