A library built to showcase an impressive book collection is often noteworthy, but this private library designed by Sellars Lathrop Architects is truly exceptional. Howard Lathrop worked extensively with the homeowners to create an extraordinary home that was built from the ground up with numerous multi-use spaces and energy efficiency in mind. Born from the homeowner’s academic interests and extensive book collection, the library is designed for both display and use.
It’s not just a gorgeous and airy library, however. The space encompasses a full-service bar in one corner and a large dining table to accommodate dinner parties. A central reading area illuminated by skylights and a wall of windows produce a sun-drenched atmosphere. Glassed into one wall is a temperature-controlled wine cellar, featuring unique wire racks designed by Lathrop and the homeowner. But the pièce de résistance is a hidden room tucked behind one of the glass-fronted cases for rare books. Swing the bookcase wide open, and you’ll find an intimate space for poker, brandy and cigars. A separate ventilation system protects the library and the rest of the house from cigar smoke. A spiral staircase in this room leads up to a balcony running along one wall of the library, reminiscent of the Morgan Library in New York City.
Ample space and seating allow the homeowner to spread out his papers and books on working days, or to host fund-raising parties and concerts. A walk-in fireplace permits roaring fires on winter evenings, and the library’s skylights can be opened to let in fresh air. This majestic space easily serves the homeowner’s needs, providing a marvelous study, dining room, hosting venue, cocktail lounge and reading room—all with beauty and class.
Ann Sellars and Howard Lathrop can be found at www.sellarslathrop.com or 203.222.0229