Arts & Culture Community Maplewood Towns

Maplewood Library Trustees Select Architectural Firm to Redesign Main Branch

The vision of a 21st century library for Maplewood residents just moved one step closer to being realized, with the selection of an architect to create a design to renovate the Main Library on Baker Street.

The Maplewood Memorial Library Board of Trustees has awarded a contract to New York-based Sage and Coombe Architects LLP, according to a press release. The design — which will invite input from the public — is expected to take around six months to complete.

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“Anticipating and embracing the changing role of libraries in today’s world, the design must be inviting and open, inclusive, flexible in practice and civic in character, referencing traditional library forms called to perform new roles,” said Principal Jennifer Sage. “The design will embrace and emphasize the library’s location within Memorial Park.”

In November 2015, the library board announced an ambitious plan to create a new, modern facility that will better serve residents. This summer, they invited three architecture firms to submit RFPs. 

“The Library for the Future Campaign will be a public and private venture that includes funding from the Township, the Library Foundation, Friends of the Library, individual and family contributors, and foundation and corporate donors,” said Mayor Vic De Luca.

“We are very excited to develop a modern, accessible and dynamic space that captures the energy and diversity of our community.” said Kate McCaffrey, President of the Board of Trustees.

Read the entire release below:

Moving forward with its vision of creating a 21st century library, the Maplewood Memorial Library Board of Trustees has awarded a contract to Sage and Coombe Architects LLP to create a conceptual design for the Main Library at 51 Baker Street. The design process will fully engage the public over approximately 6 months. Sage and Coombe will explore environmental and structural aspects of an enhanced library, as well as issues of accessibility and sustainability.

Says Principal Jennifer Sage: “Anticipating and embracing the changing role of libraries in today’s world, the design must be inviting and open, inclusive, flexible in practice and civic in character, referencing traditional library forms called to perform new roles.” The design will embrace and emphasize the library’s location within Memorial Park.

“The Library for the Future Campaign will be a public and private venture that includes funding from the Township, the Library Foundation, Friends of the Library, individual and family contributors, and foundation and corporate donors,” said Mayor Vic De Luca. “We are excited to be working with Sage & Coombe to create a library space that will meet the needs of our community for years to come.”

The Board of Trustees selected Sage and Coombe in an extremely competitive process that brought in applications from 39 top-notch firms in the New York region. Recent Sage and Coombe clients include the New York Public Library, the Noguchi Garden Museum and the Greater Newark Conservancy. Principals Jennifer Sage and Peter Coombe received Masters of Architecture degrees from Yale and Harvard respectively.

“We are very excited to develop a modern, accessible and dynamic space that captures the energy and diversity of our community.” said Kate McCaffrey, President of the Board of Trustees. “The Maplewood Memorial Library serves as a gateway both to our village and our gorgeous Olmstead park. We are thrilled to have Sage and Coombe work with us to design a building that reflects the centrality of the library to our community.”

To keep up with the planning process as it unfolds, go to the Library’s Building for the Future web page.

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