Shawmut has completed Brooklyn Public Library’s (BPL) newest location at 9 Adams Street in Dumbo, marking the 60th branch in the system and first new library built in Brooklyn since 1983.
In partnership with WORK Architecture Company (WORKac), the Adams Street Library project consisted of a renovation to the ground floor of a historic manufacturing building located beneath the Manhattan Bridge, originally built in 1901, delivering more than 6,500 square feet of new community-focused public space to the area. As a part of BPL’s broader effort to expand and revitalize its network to create inspiring and innovative spaces, the Adams Street Library features flexible meeting rooms and programming space with modern technology, in addition to areas for books and resources.
“Leveraging our expertise in completing complex, dynamic renovation projects, we couldn’t be prouder to create this vibrant, meaningful space that will offer endless opportunities as an educational and cultural resource. The Adams Street Library represents a transformational example of a modern, inspiring, and innovative space,” said Sharvil Patel, director of institutional, healthcare, and life sciences in Shawmut’s New York Metro region. “As the first branch to serve the communities of Vinegar Hill, DUMBO, and Farragut Houses, this latest outpost is set to serve locals and visitors alike for generations to come.”
Fronting Brooklyn Bridge Park, the library offers stunning views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges and downtown Manhattan from its 15-foot windows, while the playful, warm interior provides the perfect place to read, work, and gather. A focal point of the interior space is the bright, whimsical area for children, elevated in the center of the library so younger children can see out of the large windows. Teens will have their own area to gather as well, part of a wider BPL initiative in libraries across the borough to provide a separate and safe area for teens to do homework or meet.
“Adams Street is the first new library in Brooklyn in nearly four decades and a model for all public libraries in the decades to come,” said Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library. “We’re grateful to our partners at WORKac for helping us realize a 21st-century library that’s both artful and accessible, beautiful and versatile, and we can’t wait for the entire DUMBO community to bring it to life.”
Created by Dumbo-based graphic design studio Link By Air, two massive murals are on display at the new library, reflecting the historic supergraphics which are iconic in Dumbo across the old manufacturing plants and warehouses throughout the neighborhood. Behind the check-in desk, a wall-length pixelated mural depicting large-scale plants give the wall texture and color that resonates with the whitewashed timber ceiling and brick. On the exterior of the building, visitors in the neighborhood are drawn to the outside of the building with the bright orange lettering spelling out Library.