New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Bobst Library to undergo more renovations in coming months

The library’s newly designed ground floor was revealed to the NYU community last week, with more changes, including a coffee shop and new carpeting, to come within the next few months.
Natalia Kempthorne-Curiel
Following a recent renovation, the first floor of Bobst Library is now open to students for studying and lounging. (Natalia Kempthorne-Curiel for WSN)

Bobst Library unveiled its first-floor renovation on Oct. 17, but NYU is already planning additional changes to the space, such as adding a coffee shop, modifying the existing carpet tile to include constellation patterns, and redesigning its circulation and reserve services desk, in the next few months.

The ground floor now features a dark blue-green color palette, selected by architect Billie Tsien, who worked with three other designers to make the space feel more intimate, quieter and more comfortable for students. The process involved introducing new furniture and acoustic wall paneling to dampen sound and echoes.

“It was a sort of unveiling of a desire to always make NYU feel welcoming to more and more people,” Tsien said in an interview with WSN. “The idea of making a space feel more democratic is always something very inspiring.” 

In an Aug. 15 email to the NYU community, dean of the Division of Libraries Austin Booth said the planned renovations to the library’s ground floor came after students and faculty expressed a desire for new furniture in feedback for NYU president Linda Mills. The changes mark the first ground floor renovation since 2005.

University spokesperson John Beckman said he has seen positive reactions from students to the floor’s renovation, and that the new furniture is encouraging them to socialize and collaborate with one another.

I already see groups of people conversing, working together, relaxing, hanging out — just as we’d hoped,” Beckman wrote to WSN. “When you think about how much has changed in teaching and learning and research over all those years — to say nothing of the feedback that the library received from its surveying and the feedback that President Mills received during her listening tour — this renovation was definitely due.”

First-year Jennifer Wu said they think the new furniture will motivate students to go to the library more often.

“There are so many silent spaces in Bobst, other than the fifth floor,” Wu said. “Sometimes, you want more of a collaborative space, so I definitely like that. It’s a lot more welcoming than before, even if you’re not studying there.”

Sophomore Ava Santiago was initially unhappy with certain aspects of the renovation, including the carpet. However, she also said the space now feels more welcoming, which encourages her to visit the space more and work longer. 

“I will say that the lights and how they use the space is very much like a living room — everyone can come together, sit on the same couch and do their work,” Santiago said. “We definitely need a more welcoming space. No one wants to be studying in a prison-like atmosphere. You want to feel comfortable, almost like another part of your home.”

Contact Aashna Miharia at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Aashna Miharia
Aashna Miharia, Deputy News Editor
Aashna Miharia is a first-year studying journalism and public policy with a minor in business studies. She’s from the Boston area and a novelist, coffee enthusiast and lover of independent bookstores. You can usually find her listening to an audiobook while wandering around New York City or on Instagram @aashnamiharia.

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    Plonkar ChivistOct 24, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    Truly impressive and interesting, it will be very comfortable to study and work here