Boston Public Library
Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Johnson Building Improvement Project: Johnsonian Principles

by Gina Perille


PowerPoint Presentation

Part of the master planning process included detailed research by the design team on Philip Johnson, the architect. Through this research, including detailed readings of what Philip Johnson wrote and said about his own work, William Rawn Associates Architects highlighted five Johnsonian Principles and their application at the BPL’s Central Library in Copley Square.

The principles are:

  1. Procession: Anticipation – sense of event from exterior
  2. Procession: Moment of Arrival – coherent experience from the front door
  3. Procession: Ascent – celebrated vertical circulation
  4. Scale: Respect and Experimentation – past and future
  5. Structure and Rationality – structural clarity in planning.

In future posts, we’ll share additional details on some of these principles, which have been featured in discussions and presentations about the Johnson Building Improvement Project.

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