The new Boston Public Library Roslindale branch had its groundbreaking.
A complete renovation of a 1960’s library and transformation into a library of the digital century. A new welcoming entry, community room, reading lounges, computer stations and an urban reading garden will bring back the vital place of community learning and gathering for a diverse Roslindale community.
The renovation takes the most sustainable approach by keeping in place almost all of the existing building structure and envelope with limited strategic new insertions at key areas such as the building entry and an urban reading garden to give it a new identity. The reconfigured interior efficiently organizes all the enclosed spaces along the northern edge of the building while strengthening the unique semi-circular open reading/book stack space that is anchored by a shallow dome at the center with clerestory light.
Given a modest budget, a complete understanding of the building’s existing structure was necessary in order to avoid unnecessary and costly structural modifications often associated with renovations. The new entry was surgically inserted to accommodate existing structure and new chases for a complete new MEP system was carefully coordinated with the building’s existing waffle slab floor.
The new entry and canopy allows for universal access at grade with no separate stairs or ramps. A wall of colorful Terracotta Baguettes in a blue color theme as a metaphor for books on a shelf enlivens the entry and gives the library its new identity.