We would like to update you on the progress we have been making in establishing our new Clubhouse at 58 West 40th Street. We are very excited to have reached this stage where we can share images of our new home. I am personally really “taken” by the design. Looking at the drawings, you can start to project yourself into the spaces and imagine life in our new premises. It reminds us how much we are looking forward to our new Clubhouse. It should also be mentioned that we have benefited from the fabulous advice of our architects and other design professionals. All this saves to reaffirm that our future is bright and ambitious.
Figure 1. Top Left : Schematic floorplan of our new Clubhouse. The right side is comprised of floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking Bryant Park. The lounge is between the large meeting room and this window. The library is on the opposite side of the floor. Utilities such as restrooms, a pantry, and storage connect the library and the lounge along the side of the building closest to 6th Avenue.
Figure 2. Top Right: A view of the new lounge, Please note the variety of seating and opportunities to connect with collectors.
Figure 3. Bottom Left: A view inside our large meeting room. New specially designed frames will line each side of the room. There will be as many frames as in our previous home.
Figure 4. Bottom Right: A view inside the library looking at the open stack area.
But, before going further, we should point out the following:
• We are looking at a new vision for our Clubhouse. We are not looking to re-create the past. That would be a foolhardy objective. We are on the cusp of the second quarter of the 21st Century, and this reality is reflected in the design. We also recognize that our Clubhouse is in New York, and New York is a modern city that faces the future with enthusiasm. Our design reflects that enthusiasm for the future.
• The design reflects our needs, not the constraints of a pre-existing form. We started with a blank canvas. The floor is delivered to us empty of design or construction elements beyond a floor, a ceiling, and the exterior walls. We considered our needs and how we use our Clubhouse, and the design was developed in response to those needs. Our needs are driving the design, not a pre-existing fixed structure.
• We want to maximize our flexibility. We envision large and small meetings. We see the Clubhouse being used by members from both out of town and in town to visit an oasis within a busy city, a premier research library, and a meeting place.
In Figure 1, we have the overall floor plan. One would enter from one of the elevators, and the option is to turn left or right. If you turn right, you will enter the lounge. The lounge has flexible seating with a variety of conversation sites. The seating here will also accommodate small-scaled meetings. The lounge has a set of large windows that run the entire floor width and are floor-to-ceiling. These overlook Bryant Park. The lounge is immediately adjacent to our large meeting room. The meeting room has a capacity of over 40; we will install new, custom-made frames on both sides of the meeting room. In the meeting room, as will be the case throughout, the utmost in technology will imbue the entirety of our space. The chairs in the meeting room can be repositioned or stacked, providing us with a great deal of flexibility.
Also, adjacent to the lounge, you will find a seminar room ideally suited for immediate-sized meetings. The meeting and seminar rooms will have video monitors and can host virtual or hybrid meetings.
Returning to the elevator lobby, you will enter the library on the left. Most prominently, we have a large library table as you enter. The table is adjacent to our open stacks. Again, the library table will provide a fabulous place for collectors to meet and discuss philatelic matters. The exterior wall has double-hung windows, and against this wall will be short-shelf desks. These will be ideal for researchers. A copy and scanning position and the entrance to our high-density shelving will be at the back of the room. We also have made provisions for storing our rare book collection separately and securely.
Three restrooms, a pantry, and storage will run across the back of the floor.
Let’s consider how we expect to use our space: meetings, large and small, research in our library, and connecting with other collectors. We think this design is intended to help us fulfill these needs.
Please understand that this design is not yet final, there will be changes, but this gives our membership a glimpse of what the future holds.