New York Public Library for the Performing Arts


Poulin + Morris

Practice Area


Polshek Partnership


Project Vision

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Mural

This library houses one of the world’s most extensive collections of resource materials on theater, dance, and music. Of particular renown is the library’s collection of non-book materials, such as historic recordings, videotapes, autographed manuscripts, sheet music, stage designs, press clippings, programs, posters, and photographs. These invaluable resources are available to the public, free of charge, as are the library’s special programs, including exhibitions, seminars, and performances. Polshek Partnership was responsible for a major, three-year renovation of the library; Poulin + Morris was then selected to develop, design, and implement a comprehensive environmental graphic and wayfinding sign program for the newly renovated interior space consisting of public reading rooms, galleries, auditorium, and preservation lab. They developed a program that relies on bold color, large-scale typography, and iconographic images from the library’s collections. One major component is a wall mural that spirals up a five-story primary circulation staircase. The mural serves as a vehicle for visual wayfinding, as well as a celebration of the performing arts.

Project Details
A stair has never looked so good! The use of bold color and large-scale typography brings this interior space to life, animating the public entrance and achieving anticipation for visitors.
Juror 1
Design Team

L. Richard Poulin, Brian Brindisi

Design Firm

Poulin + Morris


Big Apple Sign Corporation