Originally built in 1917, the Morristown and Morris Township (NJ) Library has been expanded several times. This most recent expansion, known as the “New Edition”, was an $8 million project that includes construction of a three-level, 15,000 sq. ft. addition and extensive restructuring of other parts of the library.
The project, a 2007 AIA Merit Award winner, was designed by Holt•Morgan•Russell Architects, Princeton, NJ. According to principal Bob Russell, “This is a contemporary addition to an historic building as required by Secretary of Interior standards. A limiting floor to floor height in the existing historic building led to the development of the two clearstory light corridors that bring natural light deep into the expanded floor plate.”
Approximately 4,200 sq. ft. of RHEINZINK® standing seam panels and custom diamond shaped tiles contributed to HMR’s design solution. “The RHEINZINK was formed to mimic the belt coursing around the building and window detailing found on the original stone structure,” according to Russell. “This was our first experience with RHEINZINK but we’ve been itching to use it. We use a lot of metal and I was eager to design with the material.”
Working closely with the architect, the custom tiles were fabricated and installed by Schtiller & Plevy, Newark, NJ, specialists in historic restoration. “We went through the process of creating several generations of custom tiles and reviewing each with the architect and owner until everyone was happy with the shape. Then we custom fabricated all of the material in our manufacturing shop,” Larry Plevy said. “The architect relied on our experience in doing shop drawings and mockups to assure the waterproofing was sound and that the detailing met the aesthetic requirements. With the RHEINZINK standing seam vertical panels above the diamond shaped tiles, it’s a great looking job!”
Photos © Michael Slack