Manhattan’s luxury residences come fully equipped with amenities that the rest of New York can only dream about: state-of-the-art fitness centers, heated swimming pools, rooftop gardens, and friendly doormen (yes, that’s a luxury in this city, too). But developers are now adding another feature to their urban properties—one that caters to the mind.
It’s no surprise that there has been a resurgence in the popularity of physical books, despite the many e-readers and smart tablets available on the market. Even Amazon is opening their first bookstore in Manhattan’s Columbus Circle later this year to accommodate the “back to books” trend. Now, we’re seeing more built-in libraries not only being added inside private homes, but also in the common areas of luxury residential buildings.
Steiner East Village, an 82-unit residential condominium development, features a stunning library with “carefully curated international titles.” The sleek, modern, built-in shelves seamlessly blend with the chic gray floor and walls, and are offset by a white marble fireplace. The space “overlooks a calm, private courtyard for a relaxing reading experience.” The book collection pays homage to the historic neighborhood by featuring writers and artists with close ties to the community.
On the other side of town in the West Village, The Shephard, a residential building by Naftali Group, features a paneled library curated by book publishers Prosper and Martine Assouline. The library includes rare and unique objects, including an original drawing by Santiago Calatrava, as well as books covering travel, style, and the culinary arts. The interior of the library was designed by husband-and-wife team Christine and John Gachot of Gachot Studios and according to Naftali’s representatives, the library was of singular importance in the initial development plans for the property.
Penguin Random House curated a residential library for The Naftali Group’s second development located at 234 East 23rd Street. The library also “serves as a resident lounge and entertaining space,” and is filled with poetry books, classic novels, New York-centric books, and even children’s books. “Naftali Group hopes that residents utilize this as an actual library vs. libraries with books by the yard that are more for visual effect,” says their representative at Rubinstein. “All of these projects aim to create soothing spaces for their residents that allow for a much needed break from a busy day to curl up with a book that will transport them somewhere else.”