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Holmdel Library at Bell Works
Holmdel Township, New Jersey
The new library is located within the Eero Saarinen designed Bell Laboratories complex. The original research facility is comprised of 2 million square feet in four buildings gathered by a common 5 story atrium. The new owner, Somerset Development, had purchased the property in 2013 and has repurposed the complex into “Bell Works - a live-work-play center”. The developer donated prime ground floor space to the community for the creation of the library.

The new 16,000 square foot library features a unique design, creating a dynamic flow of spaces through the rigid frame of Saarinen's creation. The library patron’s experience starts at the common atrium, whose scale and sense of history impresses all. At the library’s atrium façade, visitors choose between entering the library proper or taking advantage of the front buffer zone where patrons can elect to linger at the glass-wall counter, charge their devices, and people watch. Entering past this transitional area you are lead into the ‘retail’ zone along the Young Adults space. The circulation desk is located prominently along a curved concrete path that opens to the adult collection and sitting areas. Further along the walkway are computer alcoves, meeting and collaborative spaces, and ultimately the children’s zone. All of the areas have a direct line of sight to the exterior which opens the space outward and allows for soft northern daylight. Additional large conference spaces are located across a common hallway and are available to the community outside of library hours.

Throughout the library and the public atrium spaces are displays of historical accomplishments achieved by Bell Labs here in Holmdel, New Jersey. Ultimately, the library's public value is enhanced by being located in the Bell Works complex whereas collaboration between contemporary research / development companies and this non-traditional library is encouraged.