City of Philadelphia
Free Library of Philadelphia
Project Type

Kelly/Maiello has been working with the Free Library of Philadelphia

for over a decade on the phased renovations of its beaux-arts 300,000 SF central branch located on Logan Circle. The goals of the Library are to house and display its unique collection in a modern, updated environment while respecting the spirit of the historic building.  Phase I initially called for a large scale addition and renovations to accommodate new technologies, expanding collections and the widening role of the library as an urban activity center. After a funding hiatus, KM developed a new, 5-year, 8-Phase Master Plan for integrated, phased improvements to the existing historic building.  Phase II involved the cleaning and restoration of the magnificent Lobby, a green roof design, development of the Skyline Room, which overlooks the Parkway, renovations to the Rare Books Gallery and creation of a sleek Culinary Literacy Kitchen.  Phase III sees a vast repurposing of the private stacks into a public Commons, Business Research and Innovation Center (BRIC) and Teen Center.

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Main Lobby
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Skyline Room
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Culinary Kitchen
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Section through Grand Stair Hall and Learning Commons
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looking west
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View of Ground Floor Group Informal Seating Area
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Teen Room

Credits:  Safdie Architects and the Free Library of Philadelphia

  • Renderings -Main Lobby, Skyline Room, Section through Grand Stair Hall and Learning Commons, Teen Library, View of Ground Floor Group Informal Seating Area