Foster + Partners-led Apple Store Transformation of DC’s Historic Carnegie Library Gets Greenlight


Early renderings of the design. Image via 9to5 Mac

Early renderings of the design. Image via 9to5 Mac

Plans for Apple’s next flagship store, to be located within the historic Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square in Washington, D.C, have been approved by the District’s Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB).

The project comprises both an interior/exterior restoration and renovation of the 63,000-square-foot Beaux Arts library, which was constructed in 1903 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1969. The plan will allow the library to  be shared by Apple and the building’s existing tenant, The Historical Society of Washington. The 2-story Apple store will be located on the first floor and basement levels of the building, and will be designed by Foster + Partners, continuing their collaboration with the tech giant.


Early renderings of the design. Image via 9to5 Mac

Early renderings of the design. Image via 9to5 Mac

Restoration efforts will be led by New York’s Beyer Blinder Belle, and will include the reversal of earlier renovations, including a rooftop over the original skylight and the conversion of a reading room into a theater. Opening up the interiors to better light, partitions in the library’s stacks will be removed, and ceiling in the Great Hall will be redesigned to create an atrium.

“This new space, which will feature a massive video screen, new wall openings on both levels, and circulation “bridges” connecting the upper floors, will significantly alter the historic layout and character of the interior,” a report from Historic Preservation Office (HPO) stated.


© <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2008-0601-DC-CityMuseumCarnegieLibrary.jpg'>Wikimedia user Bobak Ha'Eri</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY 3.0</a>. Image © Wikimedia user Bobak Ha'Eri licensed under CC BY 3.0

© <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2008-0601-DC-CityMuseumCarnegieLibrary.jpg'>Wikimedia user Bobak Ha'Eri</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY 3.0</a>. Image © Wikimedia user Bobak Ha'Eri licensed under CC BY 3.0

Other changes will include the addition of a rounded grand staircase on the building’s north facade, the the removal of a central pillar in the entryway that will create space for a glass entrance.

News via Architect’s Newspaper, 9to5 Mac.

Foster + Partners to Design Apple Store in Historic Washington D.C. Library

London’s Foster + Partners will likely design a flagship Apple store for the historic Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square in Washington, D.C., reports The Architect’s Newspaper. According to Events DC, Apple will lease a portion of the 63,000-square-foot building’s ground floor and basement levels in a ten-year lease, sharing the space with its existing tenant, The Historical Society of Washington.

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