LiRo's 'fantasy garden' creates new reality for Children’s Reading Room at the Bronx High Bridge Library
Thanks to the inspired work of LiRo Architects + Planners, the dark and oppressive building that once housed the High Bridge branch of the New York Public Library in the Bronx has been transformed into a welcoming space permeated by daylight.
The New York Public Library specified that the renovated library become a neighbourhood landmark and gathering place. In response to this charge, LiRo Architects, who provided both Architecture and Interior Design services for the renovation, literally raised the roof of the building to allow natural light to flood in creating a luminous and expansive space that inspires gathering and learning.
In homage to the neighbourhood’s defining landmarks, LiRo’s in-house talent created watercolour murals of the High Bridge Aqueduct and Water Tower for the library’s main entrance, lobby and Children’s Reading Room. A whimsical three-dimensional illustration of a tree emerges from the mural to shelter the Children’s story area in which children gather on a circular amphitheater covered in grass-imaged carpeting.
Bright green circles of flooring denote gathering areas in both the Children’s and Adult Reading Rooms while brightly-coloured modern furniture creates a cheerful atmosphere in a clean, modern space welcoming to adults and children alike.
“I believe that we are standing in the most beautiful urban library in America,” said Paul LeClerc, president and CEO of the New York Public Library, at the grand opening of the High Bridge branch and also called the Children’s Reading Room “the single most beautiful space in New York”.
LiRo Architects strive to make spaces that support, sustain, and inspire, and the High Bridge Library redesign meets, and exceeds all of those goals.