Archive for January 2019

NEW LIBRARY TRASHED?   Leave a comment

NEW LIBRARY TRASHED?  Well, not really.  When the Library Director walked in on the Holi Hindu Colour Celebration conducted in the newly renovated Hoboken Library,  she wondered if the bursts of paint and chalk would ruin the brand new finishes.   DENNIS KOWAL ARCHITECTS designed the Library with the latest technology and materials to withstand flooding from the Hudson River but these choices also made for a durable Program Room that could withstand unanticipated uses!  Kowal commented “It turns out these resilient materials are as useful  for preventing water damage as they are for preventing staining from  festival enthusiasm and craft spills.”                                   library trashed color

The same room after the Holi Festival ready for maker-space use is pictured below.  Note the abundant data and power outlets that surround the perimeter and the overhead broadcast cameras and power outlets.  Latest library design trends include adaptable spaces that quickly convert from tables and chairs to open plan.  The barrel vaults, windows and columns are all original to this historic building which now includes wide-screen cinema projection, video conferencing and multiple lighting scenarios.

program room 2(Above) The space being  used for child motor skill and creativity development;  note the  comfortable floor materials and surroundings.   The acoustics, lighting and sight lines were all designed by DENNIS KOWAL ARCHITECTS to be perfect for concerts, TV broadcasting,  programs and speaker presentations.

Dennis Kowal AIA is a library design specialist and frequent speaker on the topic of library design and trends.  The renovations at the Hoboken Library combine wonderful library service with beautifully conceived spaces to achieve a great patron experience, yet providing flexibility to adapt to new and changing services and delivery.


Posted January 8, 2019 by Dennis Kowal Architects in Historic Preservation, Library

Excitement mounts as New Jersey Libraries prepare to dig themselves into a hole!   1 comment

Excitement mounts as New Jersey Libraries prepare to dig themselves into a hole!

template 4extended

                                                                               Kowal atop a crane observing the hole for a library expansion

A quarter of a billion dollars will be spent on updating New Jersey Public Libraries during the next few years and firms like DENNIS KOWAL ARCHITECTS will be there to help repair, renovate and expand them.   During the last grant round, DENNIS KOWAL ARCHITECTS wrote the grant applications for seven libraries and was awarded all of them which resulted in the most combined-library  dollars of any grant writer.

DENNIS KOWAL ARCHITECTS are public library design specialists and prepares the need assessment, building program, library design, cost estimates and grant proposals.  Seen above is the hole that would become the new Livingston Public Library, one of the busiest libraries in the State.

Library design requires extensive investigation of Community Needs because each locale has its own unique population, library borrowing patterns and special requirements.  Focus groups over a period of weeks combined with surveys and interviews are ways to draw out the special requirements and desires of the Community.  Children (below) were asked to draw their favorite part of the library.  Children wanted a dedicated cinema, large murals on the wall and indoor playground furniture in addition to the books and media.

children focus

                                       DENNIS KOWAL ARCHITECTS interviews young library patrons to get design ideas