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Category Archives: Johnson Building Study

Central Library Renovation: Phase 2 Components

Posted on August 4th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Collections, Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects, Technology
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The second phase of the Central Library renovation begins in earnest this fall and includes the first floor, mezzanine, lower level, and exterior of the Johnson building. It’s important to note that Phase 2 will start before all elements of Phase 1 are complete. Here’s a quick summary of the Phase 2 spaces that are slated to be renovated, built as new, and otherwise improved:

  • First floor: new books section; lobby and welcome area; an enterprise or retail space; the fiction collection with stacks and seating areas; borrower services; movies and music; and Tech Central. The first floor will also include an exhibition gallery, various installations of BPL art, interactive digital displays, and new restrooms.
  • Mezzanine: world languages and areas for group work such as conversation circles, a new public instruction classroom, and meeting room.
  • Lower level: updated Rabb Lecture Hall and supporting AV and green room, the lobby outside of Rabb, a new digital innovation space, and updated restrooms. Also under discussion is a review of the refurbishment of the Kirstein Business Library.
  • Exterior: a new entrance vestibule and window system, paving and landscaping upgrades, signage and lighting improvements, and outdoor furniture and bike racks.

Less visible to the public are a range of infrastructure improvements to plumbing, piping, electrical and data systems,; heating and cooling and air distribution;  and fire suppression and control systems. In addition, there are notable “back of house” changes planned for the first floor: the loading dock and shipping room, freight elevator improvements, the borrower services workroom, and some minor updates to basement-level spaces.

A rendering of what the library might look like from the vantage point of Boylston and Exeter Streets. As always, all elements are subject to change

A rendering of what the library might look like from the vantage point of Boylston and Exeter Streets. As always, all elements are subject to change.

BPL_rendering_NewBooksArea

A rendering of what the new books area on the first floor of the Johnson Building might look like. Boylston Street is to the right and Exeter Street far ahead (for purposes of orientation).

Central Library Renovation: Phase 1 Renderings

Posted on July 18th, 2014 by David Leonard in Collections, Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects, Technology
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Even as construction of Phase 1 is well underway in Copley Square, the designs for each of the components in Phase 1 are still receiving final touches. The second floor of the Johnson building improvements include:

  • Children’s Library, with four specialized areas: early literacy, story time, tweens, and a program room.
  • Teen Central with a digital lab, lounge for gaming and films, and quiet study area.
  • Nonfiction collection with integrated displays of the library’s art, maps, manuscripts, photographs, and more.
  • Reference point.
  • Public restrooms.
  • Community reading area.

In conjunction with the Phase 1 areas listed above, the following improvements will also be completed in time for the reopening of the second floor, scheduled for early 2015:

  • Replacement of the second floor windows and curtain wall systems.
  • Upgrades to the railing in Deferrari Hall from the first floor stairs to the second floor balcony; an improvement required by new building codes.

Pictured below (starting at the top, left and moving clockwise) are renderings of the entrance to the Children’s Library, the main reference point on the second floor, the entrance to Teen Central, and a view into the community reading area.

BPLphaseIrenderings

Central Library Renovation: Teen Room Moves

Posted on July 11th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Collections, Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
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Teens at work in the Boston Room.

Teens at work in the Boston Room.

Teen services at the Central Library in Copley Square are now operating out of the Boston Room, which is located on the first floor of the Johnson building. To find the Boston Room: enter on Boylston Street, turn left after passing through the security gates and go under the sign that says “Borrower Services.” The Boston Room is through the double doors to the left, just past the newspaper table. View the library’s current building directory (which will be updated later this summer).

Central Library Renovation: Moves

Posted on July 7th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Johnson Building Study, Major Projects, Technology
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The Central Library’s public computing area, Tech Central, is now located in the Washington Room, which is on the second floor of the McKim building. Thank you to all the library users who adapted to the new space so quickly.

A view into the Washington Room, the new location for Tech Central.

A view into the Washington Room, the new location for Tech Central.

To find Tech Central: if you enter on Dartmouth Street, take the stairs or the elevator to the second floor and follow the signs to the Washington Room. If you enter on Boylston Street, turn left after passing through the lobby, cross over to the McKim building, and then take the West Elevator up to the second floor. View the library’s current building directory (which will be updated later this summer).

Central Library Renovation: Landmarks Process

Posted on June 30th, 2014 by David Leonard in Johnson Building Study, Major Projects
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Blagden Egress

New Blagden Street Egress Addition

On May 27, the Central Library Renovation team had their fifth meeting with the Boston Landmarks Commission. The following was reviewed: the Boylston Street entry lobby (ceiling design and dedication plaque relocation), the addition of an egress door on Blagden Street, and signage. The presentation was led by William Rawn Architects and supported by Arrowstreet Graphic Design for signage-related components. After 90 minutes of presentation and discussion, the Johnson lobby plaque/inscription relocation and the Blagden Street egress addition were approved (see image at right). The egress addition was approved with a proviso that it be painted to match the building. The other elements received either a provisional approval or a request to resubmit with additional detail or a request to redesign.

Feedback from the Boston Landmarks Commission is initially given verbally and then summarized in an official memorandum to the applicant. It is normal for feedback to be of one of the following types: approved, approved with certain conditions, or request to resubmit with either modifications or redesigned elements, which is technically a denial of approval. Those conditions or final strategies either have to come back to the full commission, the design review committee, or may be handled by administrative staff at the discretion of the commission.