As The New York Times points out, the New York University Bobst Library was once considered by some as “one of New York’s most spectacular experiences.” The 12-story library has a central atrium, where student and visitors can look down 150ft to the ground level. This location, while applauded by architectural critics like Paul Goldberger, turned out to be an unsettling place where 3 students leaped to their deaths over the course of 7 years. After the first 2 suicides the college installed polycarbonate barriers along the balconies to deter anyone else from jumping, but after the third death they decided to take a more dramatic approach, enclosing the balconies entirely.
The new addition to the library’s balconies is already underway, Joel Sanders Architects re-imagined the space with digitally inspired perforated aluminum screens that meshed with the style of the building while still being contemporary. This idea seems like a step in the right direction, but the idea that pixel inspired work isn’t already dated is debatable.