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Greenpoint Library is finalist in Fast Company’s 2021 Innovation by Design Awards

Covid delaye full use of innovative environment

September 21, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Greenpoint Library and Environmental Center was honored in Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards for 2021 in the Spaces and Places category. The building was designed by Marble Fairbanks with landscape architecture by SCAPE.

One of the most sought-after design awards in the industry, Innovation by Design is the only competition to honor creative work at the intersection of design, business, and innovation, recognizing the people, companies, and trends that have steadily advanced design to the forefront of the business conversation.

Greenpoint Library building. Photo by Gregg Richards
President and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library Linda Johnson. Photo by Gregg Richards

The new Greenpoint Library is twice the size of the previous branch and encompasses more than 15,000 square feet with significantly enlarged indoor and outdoor spaces for both everyday library services and expanded activities dedicated to the exploration of the environment.

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“The new Greenpoint Library models the enormous potential of public libraries in the 21st century,” said Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library.  “With the help of our partners, from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund to Marble Fairbanks, we created a space for everyone in the community that is as inspiring as it is versatile. In 2021, in Brooklyn and beyond, we need more libraries like this one: that make vital knowledge and beautiful design accessible to all, that empower people from all walks of life to come together and build a more sustainable, more just world.”

Greenpoint Library open working space. Photo by Gregg Richards

The new building – which is targeting LEED Platinum certification – represents the most modern thinking about the way that libraries are used by patrons today with flexible spaces that can be used for solo study, small group work, or larger meetings; enough electrical outlets and laptop space for tech-enabled work; and even a dedicated space for teens, whose needs were under-met in previous decades with the traditional library layout of children’s reading rooms and adult spaces.

The library also includes lab spaces for interactive projects, a large community event space, lounge seating, small meeting rooms, and outdoor spaces–including reading and demonstration gardens and a first-floor plaza–for programs and more.

Greenpoint Library second floor outdoor reading area. Photo by Gregg Richards

“Design is not just a beauty contest,” said Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “It’s something that can change the world and create solutions in a time when we face pressing global issues such as systemic racism, climate change, and a global pandemic. Many of these entries showcase these challenges while providing hope for the future through their steadfast commitment to elevating design.”

The judges include renowned designers from a variety of disciplines, business leaders from some of the most innovative companies in the world, and Fast Company’s own writers and editors. Entries are judged on the key ingredients of innovation: functionality, originality, beauty, sustainability, user insight, cultural impact, and business impact.

Bike rack. Photo by Gregg Richards


Greenpoint Library first floor Welcome Desk. Photo by Gregg Richards


First floor garden. Photo by Gregg Richards


Third flood elevator. Photo by Gregg Richards


Third floor garden. Photo by Gregg Richards

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