A project of

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Library, a Social Condenser in Queens, NY traces the history of the Hunter's Point Community Library’s development and the uncompromising fight to keep the realized structure true to its original conception—that of a social catalyst in the midst of dense, high-rise structures.

Through the collective commentary of individuals involved in or influenced by the project, this hybrid film and book project provide insight into an individual and collective fight for the common good; at the same time demonstrating for multiple audiences what can be accomplished when excellence in design and the persistence of government officials and community leaders combine to protect and enhance public space.

Noted architecture publisher Lars Muller and Spirit of Space Films, architecture-focused filmmakers, are working cooperatively to develop a book and a 60-minute documentary film that chronicle the planning, design and construction of the library. Released at the same time in the fall of 2018, both tools will be distributed through their respective channels—specialized publications in architecture and urbanism, and outlets for independent film.



Steven Holl in conversation with NYC Councilman Jimmy van Bramer at the Noguchi Museum.


The Library Book

Through interviews, original critical essays, photographs and documents from the entire lifespan of the library’s realization, this book will provide a unique glimpse into the narrative of a public design project.   

Editor Dimitra Tsachrelia condenses the voices of city council members, development officials, politicians, public advocates, library employees and users, and the library’s architect, Steven Holl, into the story of one public building, one library, as a microcosm of worldwide urban development.


The Film

The Spirit of Space approach is to build unscripted stories narrated by the people that have created and enlivened architecture and design within the world. From behind the camera, Managing Director Adam Goss and Artistic Director RedMike Marianek will record conversations in ways that create transparency between design visionaries, public officials, and the community. 

The visual tone of Library, a Social Condenser is poetic and dramatic, exhibiting the artistry of architecture in the Queens neighborhood at this moment in time, as well as architect Steven Holl’s primary tools—light and material. Using stories that evolved organically from conversations, Spirit of Space will craft a narrative that is then enlivened by visuals of the NYC waterfront, Queens, and the Hunters Point Community Library.



Public Outreach Partners

Target audiences for this project range from high school students to post-graduates, community groups, professionals and others with an interest in issues of public design. Academics in the fields of architecture/design and urban planning will be encouraged to use the book and film as a tool in instruction.

While there are discrete audiences for the book and film, all promotional materials developed for distribution will highlight the availability and tandem use of both. Online availability of the digital film and aspects of the book will facilitate streaming and downloads. Distribution will not be limited to the United States. The film and book will be marketed respectively via the festival circuit, both for specialized architecture and design films, festivals and book events, symposia and conferences focusing on education and digital humanities.

The project will be promoted through a website and social media, as well as outreach to New York Metro area publications and broadcast media with national influence.  Promotion will also include international media with a specialization in architecture/design/urbanism and community activism.