The Boston Public Library
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Architect: WILLIAM RAWN ASSOCIATES, ARCHITECTS, INC
This 156,000 sq ft renovation has dramatically transformed the second wing of the iconic Boston Public Library from a solid stone bunker to an inviting light-filled space that spills out into a newly defined public plaza. Increasing ceiling height and replacing dark-tinted glass and stone walls with floor-to-ceiling structural glass walls has completely opened the library’s interior to the city streets that surround the library on three sides.
Spec A: 19mm Low Iron, Toughened, Heat Soaked Tested (HST), Polished Edges
Spec B: 6mm Low Iron, Toughened, HST – 12mm Silver Spacer, 19mm Deep Fill – 19mm Low Iron, Toughened, HST
Spec C: 6mm Low Iron, Toughened, HST – 12mm Silver Spacer, 19mm Deep Fill – 19mm Low Iron, Toughened, HST, Ceramic
Total M2 – 825 approx
Typical sizes 65” (1651mm) x 93” (2372mm), 65” (1651mm) x 128” (3261mm), 60” (1530mm) x 123” (3124mm), 24” (600mm) x 123” (3124mm)
The $78m renovation of the Boston Public Library will result in a modernized library that’s far more inviting and useful to the public. “We have to evolve and become a 21st-century library,” said Eamon Shelton, the library’s head of major projects. “This was an inward-facing fortress, and now it’s going to be the total opposite.” Through the glass, passersby will see a cafe run by the Catered Affair, a bookstore-like selection of “new and novel” fiction on tables, a state-of-the-art television studio for WGBH with a retractable glass curtain, and interactive screens where patrons can peruse the library’s extensive digital archives. A loose, friendly vibe is apparent even in the unfinished space.
The 2017 AIA/ALA Library Building Award
The 2017 Congress for the New Urbanism, Charter Awards, Grand Prize.