A Look on a 21st Century Library: Apple Carnegie Library

The Genius Grove is where Apple Carnegie Library’s team of Geniuses will offer personalized technical support and advice. Photo courtesy of Apple Newsroom

Apple Inc is one of the most successful companies known for their innovation. Due to it’s dynamic and constant change, it ascertained the pulse of a generation. Apple has kept the human at the center of their ecosystem and the center of everything they do. Making their whole brand about humanizing technology. What started out as retail outlets, turned into retail stores, that drove sales and customer loyalty. And turned out to be Apple’s huge turning point.

In 2016, Apple announced that the famous Carnegie Library at Washington DC will have its new lease of life. This year, it reopened its doors to the public after painstaking months of restoration and renovation of the historic structure. Located at the nexus of Mount Vernon Square and surrounded on all sides by freshly landscaped parkland, D.C.’s Beaux-Arts Carnegie Library is a gleaming historic structure set amid modern commercial developments.

story makers at Apple Carnegie Library
Apple Carnegie Library and the new DC History Center is opened as a center for learning, discovery, and creativity. Photo courtesy of 9to5mac

Apple’s conversion of the library doesn’t mean the art of learning is removed and turned into another branch of capitalism. Apple’s education efforts like the Everyone Can Create curriculum can become one of the powerhouses that attract talent and feature exclusive event calendars. But the Carnegie project is also aimed at achieving a higher purpose at the company, which is to deepen customers’ affiliation of Apple with something positive — creativity — at a time when the public finds itself increasingly at odds with big-tech companies over jagged political issues surrounding economic inequality, social media, and privacy.

Apple sessions are hosted at the Forum, a double-height atrium featuring an updated skylight. Photo courtesy of Apple Inc
“Our roots are in education and creativity,” Cook said. “You think about where the company started from and Steve and the team at the time were very focused on providing people tools that allowed them to do incredible things.”

The Carnegie Roots

Carnegie Libraries are the earliest libraries that served the community dating back to the year 1883. A total of 3,500  have been built until 1929 from different parts of the world. The owner was Andrew Carnegie, a philanthropist who donated $300,000 to build Washington, D.C.’s oldest library — a beautiful beaux-arts building that dates back to 1903.

Inscribed above the doorway are the words: Science, Poetry, History. The building was “dedicated to the diffusion of knowledge.” Carnegie libraries are still the best buildings in many towns. Over the years some have been expanded or torn down. And, in addition to books and computers, Carnegie libraries find new ways to serve the community.

“These are buildings that really revolutionized the American public library experience,” Van Slyck says. “Carnegie put his money behind a revolutionary approach to what kind of services librarians offered.”

Both widely felt and largely invisible, the legacy of the Carnegie library system may not be measured best by architecture or even information studies, but by the buildings’ enormous impact on civic life, especially for women and children.

IKEA PHILIPPINES FINALLY CONFIRMED TO OPEN BY 2020

The globally renowned Swedish furniture maker is coming to the Philippines – and is yet to become the largest in the world.

A New Chapter at Carnegie Library

teacher and student

With the recent launch of Apple Carnegie Library to serve as its new retail store, Apple has restored a cultural, historic, and civic icon in the heart of the nation. Apple wants to deepen the customer’s relationship with their product but not about the idea of driving more revenue.

The Carnegie Library store utilizes the company’s “town square” concept. Each local staff offers a bevy of classes for creative types to maximize their Apple products for shooting photographs, editing video or producing music. At this new kind of library, the next chapter is up to you. 

“Our roots are in education and creativity,” Cook said. “You think about where the company started from and Steve and the team at the time were very focused on providing people tools that allowed them to do incredible things.”
apple staff with customer

Apple Carnegie Library will host free daily Today at Apple programming, including sessions led by local artists and world-class creators. To celebrate the opening, 40 artists will lead sessions during the six-week StoryMaker Festival. At the store, customers can explore Apple’s latest products and work with over 225 highly trained staff members offering advice and technical support, as well as assistance for small businesses.

For six weeks following the opening, the StoryMaker Festival will bring together 40 artists, poets, activists, musicians, photographers, filmmakers, lawmakers, and community builders to celebrate storytelling and inspire attendees to tell their own stories. The festival will conclude with a weekend block party to celebrate the stories the community has come together to share.

library facade

“Together, let’s create the next chapter,” says Apple. “Inspired by the rich history of Carnegie Library, the Apple Carnegie Library is re-imagining as a brand-new space to learn. Where everyone is welcome to come and discover all kinds of creativity, connect with new ideas, and share their stories.”

An Inside Look at the Apple Carnegie Library

The plan to revitalize the architectural aspect and space came together swiftly. A historic store is a new experience for the company since Apple’s store restorations have been mostly international projects. Teaming up with architecture firms Foster + Partners for design and Beyer Blinder Belle for preservation expertise, a strategy was devised to respect the library’s original architecture and intent while reversing a century of modifications and adding a few modern touches along the way.

Stepping inside, the library’s original three-story staircase on the left and right. A bronze handrail winds from the basement to the second floor, where the DC History Center and city Historical Society reside.

stairway
Apple worked with conservation experts to return interior spaces to their original footprints and restore the building's distinctive early 20th-century detailing. Photo courtesy of Apple Newsroom

Visitors to Apple Carnegie Library are welcomed by a revitalized grand entry plaza on K Street, and a new grand entry staircase on Mount Vernon Place creates an inviting route through the building to the adjacent Convention Center and neighboring Shaw District. The library’s Vermont marble facade and sculptures on the south are completely restored.

Straight ahead, just past dentil molding inscribed and gold-leafed with the names of ancient intellectuals Plato, Homer, and Galileo is the Forum. At one time, this area housed a circulation desk. Today, space is dotted with ficus trees from Florida, seating, and a video wall. A new skylight opens the atrium to the second level.

A skylight that once illuminated the original library’s circulation desk in the heart of the building returns with a new design to transform the space into a soaring double-height atrium. The dramatic gathering space, called the Forum, is the new home for Today at Apple in Washington, D.C. Visitors can attend free daily sessions focused on photography, filmmaking, music creation, coding, design and more.

Located where the library’s book stacks were housed, the Genius Grove is where Apple Carnegie Library’s team of Geniuses will offer personalized technical support and advice.

Apple Carnegie Library will host free daily Today at Apple programming, including sessions led by local artists and world-class creators. To celebrate the opening, 40 artists will lead sessions during the six-week StoryMaker Festival. At the store, customers can explore Apple’s latest products and work with over 225 highly trained staff members offering advice and technical support, as well as assistance for small businesses.

artist seminar
The Forum is in a double-height atrium that is home to Today at Apple in D.C.

Apple Carnegie Library will host free daily Today at Apple programming, including sessions led by local artists and world-class creators. To celebrate the opening, 40 artists will lead sessions during the six-week StoryMaker Festival. At the store, customers can explore Apple’s latest products and work with over 225 highly trained staff members offering advice and technical support, as well as assistance for small businesses.

“Whether customers come to explore new products, visit one of our Geniuses or unlock their creativity in a Today at Apple session, Apple Carnegie Library is a place for everyone,” said Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People. “We are excited to share this magnificent space with all of our visitors in Washington, D.C., and to provide a home for inspiration for the next generation.”

The stack room was the knowledge hub of the library, a private space that contained every resource available to visitors. While the stacks have long since disappeared, the room today serves a similar purpose, lined with training tables and open to the public as a place to wait for your appointment or learn from the knowledge hub that is Apple’s retail team. Tall, narrow windows interrupted by columns of white Vermont Marble mined from a quarry in Danby frame the north entrance.

The stack room was the knowledge hub of the library, a private space that contained every resource available to visitors. While the stacks have long since disappeared, the room today serves a similar purpose, lined with training tables and open to the public as a place to wait for your appointment or learn from the knowledge hub that is Apple’s retail team. Tall, narrow windows interrupted by columns of white Vermont Marble mined from a quarry in Danby frame the north entrance.

The east and west wings of the library’s first level have transformed from reading rooms into ornate showrooms for Apple’s hardware, software, and services. Though spacious, these areas are distinct from the building’s center of gravity and allow the products to fade to the background. Unique freestanding Avenue displays mimic the placement of walls that once split the reading rooms down the center.

Apple Carnegie Library is the first store in the United States and only the second in the world to feature what Apple calls an Experience Room, a more comfortable space to learn how Apple’s entire ecosystem of products works together. The furniture in the Experience Room matches the pieces found in the Boardroom.

In the basement, past the Carnegie Gallery with its exhibit vaults lined in refurbished Guastavino tile is Apple’s Boardroom, a private space for meetings that will host the creators Apple partners with for a robust lineup of educational and creative Today at Apple programming planned.

Education joins architecture and history as a major theme of the Carnegie Library store. Apple threw out the book on traditional retail long ago, so it’s no surprise that space takes a page from previous projects like Apple Michigan Avenue and Apple Union Square to create a community gathering place. What’s unique at this location is the depth and magnitude of the initiative. The Carnegie Library acts as a role model for the type of work Apple hopes to accomplish at all of its stores across the world.

By sharing the library with the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., learning that extends beyond the creative disciplines Apple products cater to is encouraged. A customer picking up a new iPad might leave with a better understanding of the L’Enfant Plan. For school groups taking a class field trip, a quick coding session might be the spark that leads to a lifetime passion for creating apps and tools for others. Apple is making a significant investment around the idea that a library for the 21st century is one augmented by technology and shared experiences. (9to5mac)

Dreaming of having a refreshed, refurbished home? Give it a timeless, positive look with Japanese interior design.  

Tokyo Grand Renovation (TGR) is a design and build specialist when it comes to crafting luxury and functionality in one. Inspired by Japanese philosophy and style, TGR’s headquarters is at 9110 La Campana St. cor. Trabajo St., Brgy. Olympia, Makati City, 1207.   

For inquiries, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 832 16 76, or send an e-mail at  info@tgr.com.ph.

TGRはマカティの高級インテリアデザイン、リノベーション、会社です。TGRは 住宅および商業 スペースの為のデザインと建築を提供 し ております。お問い合わせは 、02832 1676 にお電話いただくか、 電子メール info@tgr.com.ph へ送信 お願いします。

日本語で会社のウェブサイトをご覧ください:https://tgr.com.ph/ja

Share This Story:

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
More Blogs

Editor's Choice

Latest Blog

INQUIRE NOW

Contact Tokyo Grand Renovation and maximize quality and sophistication for your residential home or commercial space.

Our Works and Projects

デザイン・アンド・リノベーション

TRUMP TOWER
MATCHA LOUNGE
YAKINIKU KENSHIN