Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center

The role of the branch library today is more than a repository of information – and while access to information and media of all sorts is still a critical part of what the branch libraries do, they also provide many related social services.

The new Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center replaces an existing building with a 15,000sf community hub for environmental awareness, activism and education. The Greenpoint Library doubles the size of the previous building, providing significantly enlarged indoor and outdoor spaces to house expanded activities related to the exploration of the environment as well as everyday library use. The primary program elements are adult, young adult, and children reading rooms and collection spaces, and community spaces for regular library programming as well as for the Environmental Education Center. Lab spaces for interactive projects, a large community event space (which divides into two of the lab spaces), a lounge, small meeting rooms, and staff spaces are distributed on the two main floors.


The new Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center provides street level exterior green space, clear visual connections to interior activities, and two accessible green roofs on the upper floors. The plaza design offers the public an engaging civic space that demonstrates sustainability and reinterprets the environmental history of the region. Primary exterior building materials include custom sandblasted wood panels on the upper level and custom cast concrete on the lower level. The building will exceed required LEED goals, becoming a demonstration project for innovative approaches to sustainable design and a learning tool for the community.


Brooklyn, NY


Brooklyn Public Library



MFA Design Team

Karen Fairbanks, Scott Marble, Nicholas Desbiens, Jason Roberts, Peter Adams, Benjamin Hait, Keenan Korth, Lauren Espeseth, Spenser Krut, Tanya Gershon, Ravipa Ramyarupa, Atrianne Dolom

Landscape Architect

SCAPE / Landscape Architecture

MEP/FP Engineers & LEED

ads Engineers, PC

Structural Engineers

Robert Silman Associates

General Contractor

Westerman Construction Co, Inc

Civil/Geotechnical Engineers

Yu & Associates

IT & Security

Cosentini Associates


InToTo Professional Services, Inc




Tillotson Design Associates

Code Expeditor

JAM Code Consultants


Award, Institutional Architecture

Architecture Masterprize Award

National Design Award of Merit

SARA National Design Awards

Category Winner | Design and Environment

LOOP Design Awards

Popular Choice Winner, Libraries

Architizer A+ Awards


Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize

Silver Medal, Regional and Urban Design

AIA Tri-State Awards

Award of Institutional Merit

AIA New York State Design Awards

Spaces and Places category Finalist

Fast Company Innovation by Design Awards

Institutional / Libraries Finalist

Architizer A+ Awards

NYCxDesign Award Greater Good: Social + Environmental Impact

Interior Design Magazine

American Architecture Award

Chicago Athenaeum

Award of Merit

AIA Brooklyn+Queens Design Awards

Design Excellence Award

New York City Public Design Commission

Cooperman Library

As with many university and college libraries, the Hunter Library is being transformed by new information technologies, new storage and retrieval systems and an expanding role to provide a multitude of new services to the college community.

Hunter College Library occupies seven floors plus two basement levels of the 22 story Hunter East building on 68th  Street & Lexington Avenue built in 1968. As with many university and college libraries today, the Hunter Library is being transformed by new information technologies, new storage and retrieval systems and an expanding role to provide a multitude of new services to the college community. This project involves a planning study of the entire library and the design of the top two floors. The general direction of the planning study is to relocate most of the collection to the lower basement levels in compact storage opening up the upper floors for more open, multi-functional uses.


The program for the seventh floor includes writing, math & science learning centers, a pre-professional advising suite, and a fixed seat presentation theater. The sixth floor includes an education library and dedicated space for the Macaulay Honors College. Flexible study, reading and social spaces are dispersed throughout both floors and serve to bring together students & faculty from different academic programs in a more casual and informal environment. A new open stair connects the two floors and also extends to a rooftop reading garden.


The primary design concept developed from an interest in giving a varied and unique sense of scale to different programs and activities. The original building was designed with a steel frame structure with deep beams in many locations resulting in limited floor-to-ceiling heights. In contrast to the uniform ceiling height typical of buildings of the era, our interest was to provide a range of ceiling heights. After a survey of the existing beam locations, we developed a ceiling design that varied in height from 7’-8” under deep beams to create more intimate areas to 12’-6” between beams to create more spacious areas.


New York, NY


Hunter College



MFA Design Team

Scott Marble, Karen Fairbanks, Eric Ng, Jason Roberts, Benjamin Hait, Steve Pitman, Annie Suratt, Rodrigo Zamora, Doreen Lam, Adrienne Penaloza, Keenan Korth

Structural Engineer

Leslie E. Robertson Associates

MEP/IT Engineers

R.G. Vanderweil Engineers

Electrical Engineer

Lakhani & Jordan

Lighting Design

Richard Shaver Architectural Lighting

Acoustical Consultant

Lally Acoustical Consulting

Audiovisual Services

InToTo Professional Services


Luke Bulman Office

Part of the Solution

Part of the Solution (POTS), a community facility that provides legal representation, social and medical services, and food resources for Bronx residents, has outgrown their existing 15,000sf space.

Assisting thousands of families and low-income individuals every year, the not-for-profit institution seeks to expand their services requiring higher-capacity learning environments as well as extra workspace for additional programs and organizations to join their cause.


Following a feasibility study of the adjacent site, this project developed a 7,000sf addition with internal connections to the existing building. To integrate the new three-story building and old structure, the addition’s façade extends above and over an existing stairwell interlocking the two volumes. The primarily brick façade is continued, in a darker, subtler color, preserving a uniform texture and grid while distinguishing the secondary structure.


Working with POTS through in-person interviews and on-site observations, a program was established that addresses the needs of the growing organization and their commitment to expanding their programming. This includes a new classroom space and offices on the first floor and a combination of open workspaces and private offices (as well as a divisible meeting room) on the second and third floors.


Bronx, NY


Part of the Solution



MFA Design Team

Scott Marble, Karen Fairbanks, Nicholas Desbiens, Jason Roberts, Peter Adams, Benjamin Hait, Spenser Krut

MEP/FP Engineers

Thomas Polise Consulting Engineer PC

Structural Engineers

Robert Silman Associates

Civil / Geotechnical

AKRF Engineers

Security / Telecommunications

Preda Consulting Engineer PC

Colman Hall

Lawrence University offers small group housing as a residential option for student organizations and groups with shared interests. Typically located in houses close to campus, Marble Fairbanks was asked to develop an alternative design model for group living through the adaptive reuse of underutilized spaces within an existing residence hall.

The solution is based on urban loft living where the industrial character and structural idiosyncrasies of the existing building are incorporated into the design of four large lofts on two floors. In addition to the living lofts, the project includes a range of public amenities that are shared with the existing residence hall including a media den, a shared kitchen for communal cooking, built-in banquet seating, study zones, a living room, and a courtyard lounge. The two floors were connected with a new concrete stair and a double-height opening with a skylight to bring natural light through the center of the building and into the lower level spaces.


Appleton, Wisconsin


Lawrence University



MFA Design Team

Karen Fairbanks, Scott Marble, Jason Roberts, Eric Ng, Benjamin Hait, Peter Adams, Keenan Korth, Rodrigo Zamora, Lauren Espeseth

Associate Architect

Engberg Anderson

Cost Estimating

Middleton Construction Consulting

MEP/Structural/Geotechnical Engineers

Henneman Engineering Inc.


Award of Merit

Society of American Registered Architects, NY Council

Design Award of Merit

Society of American Registered Architects, National

The Women’s Building

This project is the design of a process that enables broader and more inclusive participation in all aspects of the development and future occupation of The Women’s Building. Our team of designers, engineers, activists, and artists ensures that throughout this process, we are imagining the most creative and sustainable ways to support and enrich this newly established center for girls’ and women’s rights.

The transformation of this building from a space for community (YMCA) to a space of isolation (Bayview Correctional Facility) back to one of community, collective growth, and partnership (The Women’s Building) is a powerful story about a change in ethics and a vision for equity, support and justice. The history of the building informs our design both inside and out.


There are three unique centers for change in our design—a Center for Community, Center for Wellness, and Center for Activism. Each forms a nexus of activities around their particular focus, and together they shape a vertical neighborhood where partnerships can be forged, collaborations explored, and resources shared. Each center establishes an entirely new paradigm for growth and support while linking the interior spaces to this unique site in the city. The façade of the addition is terracotta, formed through advanced digital technologies that embrace the future, while connecting, through its material, to the history of the existing building and its rich architectural detailing. The Women’s Building completely transforms a structure with a history of incarceration and isolation into one of connections and shared goals.


New York, NY



Project Type


MFA Design Team

Karen Fairbanks, Scott Marble, Nicholas Desbiens, Keenan Korth, Lauren Espeseth, Jean Kim, Spenser Krut, Benjamin Hait, Jason Roberts, Peter Adams

Shortlist Finalist, International Design Competition
Project Sponsor
NoVo Foundation; Goren Group