Boylston Street Building Transformation
Project name: Boylston Street Building Transformation
Project narrative: To transform the Johnson Building from a solid stone bunker to a welcoming, light filled public amenity, the design team increased natural daylight into the space by removing the poor performing single pane, black tinted glass with closely spaced mullions and inserting ultra-clear high-performance glazing. In addition, the stone walls that blocked views in and out of the library were removed. The renovation of this landmarked building avoided the need to demolish and rebuild a new facility. As a result, the life span of the existing steel and concrete structure has been extended by at least 50 years.
Project location: Boston, Massachusetts
Firm name: William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc.
Project type: Public Library
Project information: Renovation/restoration
Size: 156,000 sf
Client: Boston Public Library
Jury comments: This project is a remarkable transformation of an existing building from a dated, inward-facing bunker to a transparent and open urban asset. The library redesign succeeds on many levels, with attention given to improving the streetscape, circulation, daylighting, access, and energy efficiency. It is a great example of how thoughtful design can successfully transform existing infrastructure, making responsible use of public funds and dramatically improving the user experience of the space for years to come. The design team stayed true to their client’s mission of “free to all,” and the proof of success is apparent, with a twofold increase in the patronage of the building.
Images/Photographer(s): Robert Benson; Bruce T. Martin
Landscape Architect: Reed Hilderbrand LLC
General Contractor: Consigli Construction
Project or Construction Manager: Consigli Construction
Interiors: William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc. with LAB [3.2] Architecture
Civil Engineer: Nitsch Engineering
Structural: LeMessurier Consultants
Mechanical: Cosentini Associates
Electrical: Cosentini Associates
Plumbing: Cosentini Associates
Lighting: Lam Partners Inc.
Acoustics: Cavanaugh Tocci Associates, Inc.
Audio Visual: Cavanaugh Tocci Associates, Inc.
Consultants: Environmental Graphics and Signage Design: Arrowstreet, Inc.; Newsfeed Café Architect: Darlow Christ Architects; Interactive Digital Designer: Small Design Firm, Inc.