NEWTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
HBM worked with the City to investigate possible locations and conduct test-fit analysis exploring how a new library building could function on each potential site. Community engagement sessions were conducted to rank the sites and learn what the community saw as important attributes. After a site was selected, additional input gathering sessions were conducted to establish an understanding of which key features should be incorporated inside of the new building.
The selected site was a portion of Military Park adjacent to the existing library building. The existing structure would remain operational during construction, and then be demolished to accommodate required parking. the placement of the new library preserves green space and the location of existing monuments in Military Park while activating the park for outdoor events with the library’s patio acting as a stage.
The design of the building used a central geometry to align with the center of the park and directs views and open public spaces towards that focal point. The outdoor patio is an important component of the design and linking the building with the park in a meaningful way that encourages use. Metal mesh screens are proposed in combination with window film to mitigate sun exposure inside the building. A sun path study was performed to alleviate concerns about the west facing glass façade.
The new building will house everything on one level for ease of staffing and oversight. Upon entry, patrons find themselves in a 24/7 vestibule with walk-up book drop and pick-up lockers. As they move into the lobby, lowered shelving is combined with retail merchandising and seating to guide visitors through the main open area of the building. Flexible meeting / study space options can now accommodate a range of activities, the teens have a designated area, a vending café is wrapped in a computer bar, and drive-up services can now provide the convenient access to materials that patrons have been asking for.
HBM ￨ Design Architect, Architect of Record, Interior Designer