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casey servis


photograph of model
Site Diagram

The program of this project required a library to house literature and media that relates to politics and its dissenters. It was to be located in Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan. Instead of designing a new building to house the program, I located the library in what will soon be empty subway tunnels (brown region above).

floor plan
Microstation Rendering of Stacks

The subway tunnels, like political dissent, are integral to New York, and therefore an appropriate site for this library. The library stacks, which are supported by the original tight columnar structure also act to form reading rooms. The floor is level with the station platforms but is made of glass over the tracks in order to let visitors truly know where they are. In order to bring in some daylight, light tunnels have been cut from the tunnel up to the park. At the park level they have the function of picnic tables.

photograph of model
Microstation Rendering of Entrance Ramp

In addition to the existing subway station entrance, two ramps were cut into the ground to allow access to the library from within the park grounds. These ramps also begin to reveal the depth and path of the old subway tunnel to visitors as they descend into the library.

Site Plan

It was important to keep the park's low profile and open spaces. There are two larger skylights where meeting rooms occur below. These act as benches at the park level. At the end of the library farthest from the station, there is an auditorium that begins to rise up out of the ground. Above ground it becomes a grass covered slope where it can be used as an outdoor classroom, as well as a podium for those who wish to express their opinions on anything and everything.