Any avid reader readily grasps the appeal of a frigid autumn or winter evening. Given the chill outside, no excuse is required for relaxing inside with a good book. And of course relaxing with a good book is what the reader would prefer regardless of season or weather. Developers of select high-profile, high-end New York City residential communities understand reading experiences are rendered all the more enjoyable in sumptuous settings characterized by plush seating and inviting illumination. This is why cozy reading rooms are becoming a prized amenity among Big Apple bibliophiles.
Case in point: The Willoughby, a 476-unit luxury tower in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene. There, the lush velvet, leather and brass-appointed “Library Lounge,” features lounge seating and fully equipped work stations, as well as the glass-enclosed, floor-to-ceiling library offering seclusion and intriguing perspectives on the borough below. “Today’s renters are looking to work, play and rest not only in their homes but also within the welcoming, high-design common spaces of their buildings,” says Jarrod Whitaker, senior vice president of residential operations for The Willoughby developer RXR.
“The elegant library lounge at the Willoughby is a modern, bespoke space where residents enjoy amazing views, massive ceiling heights and complimentary coffee. It’s a whole new experience compared to a traditional library setting.”
Among all the reading rooms in New York City, there’s likely none more “library like” than the Study at Claremont Hall, in the Manhattan neighborhood of Morningside Heights. Given its cheery fireplace, overstuffed sofa, wingback chairs and understated elegance, the comfy room is as atmospheric as a classic Ivy League alumni club. Designer CetraRuddy crafted the room to exude the scholarly vibe of its neighbourhood.
And that’s particularly fitting given that Claremont Hall stands within the 180-year-old center of theological education, Union Theological Seminary. Developed by Lendlease in partnership with LMXD, an affiliate of L+M Development Partners, and Daiwa House Texas, Inc., the hall offers buyers a choice of 165 one- to four-bedroom, RAMSA-designed condominiums.
“The amenities at Claremont Hall take inspiration from the world-class universities that surround the building,” says Nancy Ruddy, CetraRuddy co-founder.
“Nowhere is it more clear than in the library and study. This space merges an old world spirit and grandeur and interprets it for modern living, pairing inviting materiality with intimate details like a fireplace to welcome quiet reflection, connection or study. The bookshelves even contain a curated selection from Columbia’s famous ‘Core Curriculum,’ all part of a lifestyle-focused amenity program designed to support all the residents’ interests, from fitness and socializing to contemplation.”
On Manhattan’s Upper West Side, another library lounge awaits, this one at luxury condominium building 2505 Broadway. The Adam America Real Estate-developed, ODA-designed property offers 41 three- to four-bedroom light-filled homes, each with walls of windows and elegant great rooms. Its reading room features polished Calacatta marble floors and a quiet, comfortable space for working, reading or escaping.
The lounge and library at 2505 Broadway “provides residents with a perfect space for unwinding after a long day,” says Tomer Yogev, Adam America Real Estate head of new development and managing partner. “The space is bathed in natural light through oversized windows and features oak and brass finishes specifically chosen to reinforce the building’s classical architectural elements. The interior includes custom brass and white oak bookshelves, custom lighting, white oak and brass panels. The flooring consists of Crema Delicato and Fior di bosco stone along with a custom insert broadloom carpet throughout. The luxurious space welcomes 2505 Broadway residents to sit back, relax and get lost in their favorite book.”
Book lovers everywhere are likely hoping this first wave of New York City in-house reading rooms and libraries inspire a bold new chapter in residential design.