Advocates for excellence in the urban environment

We believe in design’s power to engage and inspire.

We support a creative design agenda that reimagines civic institutions as hubs where diverse communities are engaged and inspired.

The Federation is committed to design that creates new opportunities for learning and discovery at civic anchors like the Children’s Library Discovery Center at the Queens Central Library. The opposite of a whisper-only reading room, the project shows how New York’s libraries can serve as both community beacons and social destinations, offering a supremely tactile environment that sparks kids’ connections with science.

Designed by 1100 Architect, with interior elements by Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership, the Discovery Center announces itself with exterior windows that beckon visitors from the street. Inside, colorful graphics celebrate the rich cultural diversity of Queens, while interactive exhibits lure children to learn about subjects from the science collection.

Completed in 2011, the project was built under the auspices of the New York City Design and Construction Excellence program, launched in 2006 by the Department of Design and Construction. Through this effort, the Department encourages the design of efficient, contemporary, and visually-engaging civic structures by hiring both world-renowned and emerging architects and designers with reputations for design excellence.

Photo Credit: Michael Moran/OTTO