Queens Table gives form to the work of the Queens Public Library (QPL) to strengthen the great democratic experiment and nurture a robust social infrastructure. By assuming the best in each individual and unconditionally supporting each patron, QPL destigmatizes free social services and dignifies the work of building social cohesion. It begins with the individual and extends to the neighborhood, borough, and City.
To reflect and enhance these simple but life-affirming principles, this proposal houses the myriad pursuits of self-improvement under one roof, a free zone through which people, ideas, and aspirations can arrive, dwell, and pass. These pursuits might include reading the news, coming in for summer lunch, obtaining immigration services, or simply being out and about.
Organized around two urban courtyards, a combination of covered areas, porous operable glass membranes, and articulated organelles form both ambiguous spatial zones and specific zones for selective programs.
The low horizontal roof achieves both a democratization of public space and sensitivity to low-rise context. The horizontal line remains consistent while spaces shift in section beneath the roof, providing for dynamic activities and multiple centers to emerge within the complex.
By allowing for all components of civic life to happen under one free space, Queens Table simply provides the setting for deep participation in public life. It is at once monumental and ordinary. Its approachability allows the library to bestow nobility upon each patron as they pursue growth and personal development, intrinsically augmenting the unfolding democratic project that is the Queens Public Library.