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Posts Tagged ‘Architecture’

Central Library Renovation Profiles: Laura Koenig, Team Leader, Central Library Children’s Services

Posted on April 30th, 2015 by Anna Williams in General

Laura talks about the work that went into the creation of the new Children’s Library.

What is your role in the Central Library Renovation?Laura Koenig

I was a member of the library team that coordinated with the architects on the design of the Children’s Library and Teen Central. I gathered feedback from children, teenagers, and families on what they would like to see in the space and brought those ideas to the design team. I also got to have a hand in all the design elements in the Children’s Library and Teen Central. I took a lead role in the creation of the sensory wall in the early literacy area ToddleTown, which serves not only babies and toddlers but also children on the autism spectrum. I spoke to people who work with children on the autism spectrum and combined that with my own knowledge of early literacy and brain development in young children to make suggestions about how the area could meet the needs of both communities.

What was one of your goals with the Johnson Level 2 Renovation?

My main goal was to create a first-class space for Boston’s children and teens. I also wanted the Children’s Library to benefit kids in all stages of development. There is a huge difference between how a two-year-old and a ten-year-old use a library, and during the design process, we put a lot of thought into how the Children’s Library could serve each age group. The early literacy area ToddleTown provides children ages three and under with a safe space to explore and move; the StoryScape area is for older children to engage in imaginative play with books, toys, costumes, and props; and the tween space gives tweens a place to hang out away from the younger kids, and it’s also where afterschool homework help takes place.

What is your favorite thing about the Johnson Level 2 renovation?

I love the Children’s Library as a whole; my very favorite part is ToddleTown, the early literacy area. It reflects our research into early brain development, and I like that it also addresses some of the needs of children on the autism spectrum. The Public Gardens-themed graphics with details from Make Way for Ducklings are charming, and it is home to one of our three lion cubs. The best part is that it has gotten very heavy use and is beloved by children and parents.

What are you most looking forward to about the next phase of the renovation?

I am excited about the new books and media area that will greet visitors when they enter the Johnson building. I also think the digital labs for adults will be a great addition. The digital lab in Teen Central has gotten a great response, and the next phase of the renovation will make that technology available for everyone.

Central Library Renovation Profiles: Sydney Thiel, Major Projects Coordinator

Posted on April 10th, 2015 by Anna Williams in General

Sydney provides a behind-the-scenes look at the Central Library’s Johnson Level 2 renovation that opened in February 2015 and looks ahead to the ongoing renovations, set to open summer 2016.

Sydney ThielWhat is your role in the Central Library renovation?

As Major Projects Coordinator, my job is to understand and collect information about the vision and goals for the renovation and ensure that the design elements of the space incorporate and meet those objectives. I also am heavily involved in the supplemental design projects of the renovation. For the Johnson Level 2 renovation, for instance, I oversaw the fabrication and installation of the Children’s Library StoryScape area, lion cubs, early literacy sensory wall, bookbirds, and the interior decoration features of Teen Central.

What was one of your goals for the Johnson Level 2 renovation?

One of my main goals with the second floor renovation – and for the upcoming phase 2 of the renovation – was to ensure that the finished project met the library’s aspirations and vision. On a personal level, when working on the Children’s Library, my goal was to create a space I could picture my four-year-old daughter using and enjoying. It was very rewarding to be able to show her the new Children’s Library and see her reaction. She loves it.

What is your favorite thing about the Johnson Level 2 renovation?

I enjoy the liveliness of the space. It is much more uplifting and vibrant than it used to be, and it is now a destination in Boston. It is a place where visitors can partake of everything the library has to offer.

What has most surprised you about the public’s reaction to the renovations?

I am surprised by how much buzz there has been around the renovation in the Boston community. I was recently walking in Jamaica Plain when I overheard two people talking about how amazing the renovation is and how people need to see it. As a civic project, the renovation is meant to benefit the public, so it is very rewarding to know that it resonates with the people it is intended to serve.

What are you most looking forward to about working on the next phase of the renovation?

I am eager to start exploring how we can keep phase one and phase two of the renovation consistent with one another through design elements such as colors and finishes. I am also interested in looking into how we can further visually connect the McKim building with the Johnson building. Instead of two distinct buildings, I hope that after the renovation is complete the McKim and Johnson buildings will feel more open to one another and reflect that they are both part of the same Central Library. I am also looking forward to seeing the streetscape outside the Johnson building transformed through landscaping. Once trees and seating are added, the library will extend its presence outside its walls.

Bacchante and Infant Faun Sculpture Restored

Posted on November 14th, 2014 by admin in General

Frederick MacMonnies’ (1863-1937) spirited piece Bacchante and Infant Faun, which is located in the courtyard of Boston Public Library’s Copley Square location, was recently restored. The piece was originally given to the library by architect Charles Follen McKim, but removed in 1897 amid protest by the local community, who thought the dancing woman celebrated drinking — and, even worse — subjected her young child to debauchery. The original piece was removed and given to the Metropolitan Museum in New York. More than 90 years later, Bacchante returned to her intended home in the fountain, cast from a copy of the popular original in Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

Conservators first constructed scaffolding around the piece and used granulated walnut shells to “blast” green corrosion off the sculpture. Next, they treated the sculpture’s surface to recreate the original patina. A lacquer was applied to recoat the sculpture and re-wax its surface, which adds a final protective coating. Restoration work recently took place on Bela Pratt’s Art and Science sculptures outside the Central Library’s Dartmouth Street entrance. Further details on library artwork not to miss can be found on the walking tour section of the BPL website. Visit www.bpl.org/tours for information on the library’s daily art and architecture tours.

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East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library Awarded Prestigious LEED® Green Building Certification

Posted on September 30th, 2014 by admin in Media Releases

EBleedToday Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced that the East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library earned LEED Gold certification. Established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute, LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is the world’s foremost certification program for the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of green buildings.

“The City of Boston is committed to green design practices and eco-friendly development,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “By earning LEED Gold certification, the state-of-the art East Boston branch demonstrates how a successful architectural addition to a community can also be a sustainable one.”

The East Boston Branch, a 15,000 square foot building at 365 Bremen Street designed by William Rawn Associates Architects, Inc., opened in November 2013. The library building earned LEED certification for green design and construction in the areas of energy use, lighting, water, and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. The City of Boston’s Property and Construction Management department managed this capital project. The East Boston Branch was funded by the City of Boston and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. (more…)

Restoration Work on Art and Science Sculptures

Posted on September 11th, 2014 by admin in General

Art and Science 4Conservators are currently at work on Bela Pratt’s (1867-1917) stately Art and Science. The two figures – Art holding her brush and palette, Science clasping a globe – were installed in 1912, and have welcomed patrons through the library doors ever since. This restoration project will return the sculptures to their intended appearance.

View an album of vintage and contemporary images of Art and Science on the library’s Facebook page.

The work will occur in phases over two weeks. First, the bronzes and stone bases will be cleaned with an environmentally-friendly soap, and any joints between the base and statue will be re-caulked as needed. Existing coatings of wax will be stripped from the bronze, allowing any areas of discoloration and patina loss to be touched up to match the existing tones. A new protective coating of incralac and wax will complete the restoration. Restoration work occurs periodically in order to preserve the beauty and integrity of these works. This important project is made possible by the Browne Fund. Restoration work on the Bacchante statue in the courtyard will begin later this month.

Further details on the the sculptures can be found on the walking tour section of the BPL website. Visit www.bpl.org/tours for information on the library’s daily art and architecture tours.