476 Fifth Avenue


New York Public Library

Square Footage
44,000 SF

Davis Brody Bond, LLP

Senior Vice President
Paul Haydon

New York Public Library - South Court

Sciame was the Construction Manager responsible for the renovation of the South Court Building. A three-story infill structure in the open south courtyard of the Center for Humanities Building. It’s the first permanent addition to the Historic Bryant Park in 89 years. The addition accommodates the Library’s growing public education program as well as provides administration and staff support space. The new building houses an electronic Teaching Center, the Celeste Bartos Education Center auditorium, administrative offices, and an employee lounge located on the glass-walled top floor.

The South Court Building stands as a prominent modern addition to the New York Public Library, while simultaneously enhancing the original landmark building. The entire structure is sky lit and the floor is set back from the existing stonewalls of the courtyard, revealing the façades to the public for the first time. The original foundation walls are exposed at the bottom of a glass staircase, which descends from the first floor to the auditorium. This successful integration of the original building and the new structure was an important design goal of the project, a goal that the architects worked closely with the Library to achieve. The result is a building with a sophisticated sense of modernity that preserves the original building’s integrity.

Project Awards

Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award
Honor Award
Award of Excellence for Library Architecture
Project of the Year
American Architecture Award
Institutional Project of the Year Award