Overview of simple, single-level concept block model.
Block model views.
Basic conceptual diagrams describing the performative characteristics of the prototype.
Graphic context wall for circulation zone. Wall provides storage using gravity fed library bin dispensers.
Plan view of block desk and graphic work pads.
Final plan drawing of desk surface with required equipment.
Front and back axon views of one desk configuration.


New York Public Library, New York

The New York Public Library commissioned R+L to design new standards for their circulation zones to establish a contemporary identity for NYPL branches, to create an open/welcoming sensibility at all circulation desks, and to invent new ways of neatly accommodating the diverse functions of today's circulation zones.

R+L's concept for the circulation desk is clear: to simplify and consolidate functions in a single Circulation Bar. To create a clean aesthetic and to increase the efficiency of check-in/out functions, we lowered the height of the desk, creating a single continuous desk height, formalizing the equipment and transactions zones, and incorporating a plug-in modular cabinet system.

R+L spatialized the zone by framing the space with an ID Wall - a backdrop for the desk that provides large-scale NYPL identity graphics with integrated shelving, and that doubles as a screen wall to conceal the library's bin sorting functions. Designed with gravity-fed rollers, the concealed system works like a large Pez-dispenser for library bins, helping to remove the clutter from behind the desk and organize the bins.

Lyn Rice, principal with Astrid Lipka, associate principal
Benjamin Cadena, project designer
Daphne Binder, Hae Won Cha, project team