THE BROWNING SCHOOL LIBRARY
View from library to new central stair
View from the lobby to the gym and library (right)
The Browning School Library
New York City, NY
The Browning School is a K-12 college prep school for boys, founded in 1888. With a student population of 400, the school had only one library for all grade levels. The key planning decision was to move the library from its remote location on the 3rd floor to a visible location on the 1st floor, and create separate library spaces for the Lower and Upper Schools.
The library is now immediately adjacent to the school's new, central, transparent staircase. In this location, a variety of library spaces have been accommodated. The multi-level plan helps to organize the spaces for younger and older students. The upper level includes shared, flexible space and access to the outdoor reading terrace to the south; a glass wall separates this from the space for younger students. At the lower level, spaces are devoted to the older students for individual and collaborative work. A reading nook is located between the two levels, adjacent to the central glass stair. Across the central stair hallway at the lower level is the maker space, which is separated acoustically from the rest of the library.
In this transformation of Browning, the most important public spaces—the lobby, the gymnasium, the dining hall and the library—are now visible to each other, to the students, and to visitors.