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Posts Tagged ‘Back Bay’

Central Library Renovation: Community Reading Area

Posted on March 26th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
BPL2ndfloorcolorgrid

A colorized floor plan of the second floor. Boylston Street is at the bottom of the image.

The second floor of the renovated Johnson Building will include a community reading area with comfortable seating as well as work space for individual and collaborative efforts. In the accompanying image, the community reading area is in the center, bottom. A large, arched window will bring in light from Boylston Street into the reading area as will the skylights in the Johnson Building’s center atrium. Nonfiction collections will be on both sides of the community reading area and near the elevators. The second floor also includes a new children’s library (multi-colored section top right), teen central (gray section top left), and reference area (purple section middle left).

Central Library Renovation: Community Learning Center

Posted on March 24th, 2014 by ggifford@private.bpl.org in Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects

CommunityLearning Bienvenido a la Biblioteca!

The Community Learning space on the renovated Mezzanine level of the Johnson Building will be a lively, open, and welcoming conversation spot for patrons who are learning English, preparing for citizenship exams, or who enjoy reading, studying, and practicing foreign languages. The library’s World Language books, test preparation materials, and literacy collection will be arranged in the surrounding space to support literacy programs, small group tutoring, and conversation circles.

The newly designed space will have three study rooms perfect for tutoring sessions and small group conversation.

Godetevi la vostra nuova libreria!

Central Library Renovation: Exterior Improvements

Posted on March 18th, 2014 by David Leonard in Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects

Two of the Central Library Renovation Project’s key goals for master planning were to: “connect the library to the city,” and “to create an inviting first impression.” To put it mildly, these are unquestionably weak spots of the original Philip Johnson design, and goals which set high expectations for the renovations on the exterior of the building.

Components of the exterior renovation, now entering their final design stages include removal of almost all of the defensive granite screens on Boylston, Exeter and Blagden Streets, some of which may have a new but subtler life as paving elements. Additional features will include remodeled entrances, more energy efficient and transparent glass, with a less imposing framing structure, exterior furniture (including bike racks) and signage allowing the library experience to truly start on the outside of the building. Another creative proposal involves the use of high-limbed trees, to add a natural counterpoint to and reduce the severity of the building, all the while retaining appropriate levels of symmetry with the McKim building.

The planning team looks forward to continue its conversations with the Boston Landmarks Commission, who have jurisdiction over certain pieces of the project, and with neighborhood groups such as the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay (NAAB) and many others. After all, statistics tell us that even today, in addition to users who consider the Central Library their main branch, 47% of all systemwide users also use the Central Library in addition to their neighborhood branch.

Rendering of the Johnson Building landscaping. Inset image: a view of Boylston Street from Exeter Corner.

Renderings of the Johnson Building exterior improvements. Inset image: a view depicting Boylston Street from vantage point of Exeter Street.

 

Central Library Renovation: Reference & Research

Posted on March 17th, 2014 by ggifford@private.bpl.org in Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects

Let us help you, your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues with research questions and projects, information-gathering for work or for play, or with that trivia question that’s been driving you mad. Our brand new Research Desk on the renovated second floor of the Johnson Building will be open and modern in style, a welcoming spot where you can work with Library staff on the topics that interest you most. The area was designed to meet the needs of the researcher who may need a table on which to spread out and delve into books and materials, or a place to get help using the BPL’s dozens of online resources to hunt for jobs, scholarly journals, e-books, historical newspapers, genealogy, car repair videos, small business tips, or language learning programs. With brightly colored carpeting, textured ceiling, flexible study tables and seating, the Research area will be easy to spot from the top of the stairs near the 2nd floor elevators, or from the path into the Johnson Building from McKim. The reference collection and Research Desk will also share a serendipitous proximity to the Teen space that will make homework and project help even more convenient for teens and their families.

reference-area

Library Projects in the News: East Boston & Central Library

Posted on March 10th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Branches, Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects

A pair of Boston Public Library’s major projects have been in the news recently. The Boston Globe architecture critic Robert Campbell wrote a review of the new East Boston Branch. In his review, Mr. Campbell wrote:

“This is the best small contemporary library I’ve seen anywhere.”

and

“Architecture always embodies a message. Here in East Boston, the message is a metaphor. The library floor is like a piece of land shared by many kinds of people under a soft bright sky. It embodies the truth, or maybe the hope, that with all our many differences we can be one community.”

 

The New York Times New England Bureau chief Katharine Q. Seelye wrote a feature article about the Central Library renovation.The sub-heading of Ms. Seelye’s article is “Boston and other cities turn sanctuary of the past into an information center of the future.” In the article, Ms. Seelye wrote:

“With a major renovation underway, this Copley Square institution is breaking out of its granite shell to show an airier, more welcoming side to the passing multitudes.”