4. Bronx Library Center

The Bronx Library Center on East Kingsbridge Road is relatively restrained as far as Postmodern designs go. With no flashy colors or book-shaped building elements, its designers, Dattner Architects, still seemed to follow a Postmodern version of “less is more.” Its flourishes include a glass curtain wall at the upper three floors that slightly projects out from the ground floor front facade and a concave roof that, in profile, looks a bit like the Nike swoosh.

Reading Terrace (Note One Fordham Plaza in the distance)

Opened in 2006, the extensive use of glass brings a lot of natural light into the Bronx Library Center, creating another type of contrast when compared to designs of older libraries clad in stone or brick. But for those who want the real thing, direct access to sunlight is provided by the reading terrace located along one side of the third floor.

While most of the interior is attractive though relatively conventional design, just as the exterior has its swoosh, the Bronx Library Center includes an art installation that brightens the stairway leading down from the ground floor to the concourse level. A pattern of color disks mounted along the walls, called Portrait of a Young Reader by artist Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, presents a representation of the DNA pattern of a young reader.