Queens Borough Public Library, Flushing Regional Branch

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Queens Borough Public Library, Flushing Regional Branch

A new prototype in civic building, this branch public library is a primary cultural center at a prominent intersection in a vibrant multi-cultural neighborhood.

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Transparency is employed as a metaphor for universal accessibility: the architecture demystifies the library experience by making the facility’s collections, functional organization and user activity visually accessible from the street, facilitating public access to information and learning.

The design emphasizes the asymmetrical qualities of its triangular site. The Main Street façade is a glass membrane: a stair and elevator core visible just inside the exterior glass wall connect three floors whose centralized free-plan is readily understood. 

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The Kissena Boulevard façade is rendered in stone, its articulation alluding to the book stacks within and its opacity allowing perimeter shelving to be maximized and affording privacy to both staff and neighbors. 

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As part of New York City’s “Percent for Art” program, public art is integral to the architecture and is intended to enhance the building’s accessibility to its many and varied users.

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Enhancing the library’s role as learning center are an auditorium, a multi-purpose room for 150, conference rooms, exhibition areas and Adult Learning Center on the lower level, and an International Resource Center, housing the foreign language collections and providing flexible exhibition space, on the top floor.

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Queens, NY
76,000 GSF
Reading Rooms, Back-of-House Support Spaces, 227-seat Auditorium, Multi-purpose Room, Conference Rooms, Exhibition Areas, Adult Learning Center, International Resource Center


Ennead Design Team
Todd Schliemann, Joseph Fleischer, Joanne Sliker, Steven Peppas, Paul Golden, Jihyon Kim, Charles Brainerd, Lisa Odyniec, James Slade, Kyle Yang
Jeff Goldberg/Esto


  • 2002
    • Award for Excellence in Design, AIA/New York State
  • 2001
    • AIA National Honor Award for Architecture
    • The Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award
  • 1999
    • AIA/ALA Library Building Award
  • 1995
    • Award for Excellence in Design, The Art Commission of the City of New York
  • 1998
    • Award, Queens Chamber of Commerce
    • Award, Queens County Builders and Contractors Association
    • Best of 1998 Award, New York Construction News
    • Design Award, AIA/Queens County


  • 2001
    • Ruhling, Nancy. "Winning Library Design Takes Root in Flushing" (New York Newsday, 1/26/2001)
  • 2000
    • Weathersby, William Jr. "Queens Borough Public Library, Flushing, NY" (Architectural Record, 10/2000)
  • 1998
    • Harden, Blaine. "Bookworms in the Melting Pot" (The Washington Post, 4/28/1998)
    • Toy, Vivian S. "Bustling Queens Library Speaks in Many Tongues" (The New York Times, 5/31/1998)
  • 1997
    • Dunlap, David W . "For Libraries, a Time of Rebirth" (The New York Times, 9/28/1997)
  • 2008
    • Morrone, Francis. "Flushing, the New Face of the City" (The New York Sun, 7/3/2008)
  • 1998
    • "Best of 1998 Awards—Institutional Project of the Year: Flushing Regional Library Multi-Cultural Center" (New York Construction News, 12/1998)
    • Altherr, Stacey. "New Chapter for Libraries" (New York Newsday, 1/16/1998)
    • Yellin, Deena. "Designing a Library As Community's Hub" (New York Newsday, 1/16/1998)
  • 1992
    • Rothstein, Mervyn. "Architects Sheltering In Government Projects" (The New York Times, 12/20/1992)