Boston Public Library’s $78 Million Renovation Wins Seven National and Local Awards

BOSTON – Boston Public Library’s $78 million Central Library Renovation has recently been awarded seven national and local awards, celebrating the project’s design excellence, preservation, and outstanding collaboration.

Among the honors are the prestigious 2017 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards from the joint American Institute of Architects (AIA) and American Library Association (ALA) program as well as the Boston Preservation Alliance Preservation Achievement Award.

The East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library, which opened in 2013, was also recognized with a 2017 AIA/ALA Library Building Award. Sunday, July 9 marked the one year anniversary of the Central Library Renovation grand reopening.

The Central Library Renovation was a City of Boston capital project approved and executed under the leadership of Mayor Martin J. Walsh and in conjunction with the City of Boston Public Facilities Department and Boston Public Library. The project team includes architecture and design services by William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc., construction manager, Consigli Construction Co., Inc., and owner’s project manager, PMA Consultants LLC.

“Boston Public Library is a place for all who seek educational opportunities and personal advancement,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “I am proud that the Central Library Renovation has been so well received by both the preservation, design, and construction communities, as well as library patrons and visitors who spend time in this grand civic space in increasing numbers.”

The Central Library project, completed in July 2016, features updates to the lower level, first and second floors, mezzanine, and the building exterior of the Johnson building. Goals of the renovation included reconnecting the building to the street and providing a welcoming and twenty first century urban library experience to patrons and visitors from around the world. Offerings include a state of the art lecture hall, business library and innovation center, a new Children’s Library and Teen Central, a WGBH satellite news bureau and studio, a café, a hi-tech community learning center, and more.

“The Central Library Renovation has reinvented our building, reconnected us to the city, and transformed our library services,” said David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library. “These awards are a reflection of the thoughtful planning and engagement work we did with a multitude of stakeholders and partners as we developed a vision for an inviting, dynamic, and modern space, responsive to twenty first century urban civic life with a strong connection to the City.”

“We are grateful and excited that the Mayor and people from all parts of the City have responded so enthusiastically to the civic transformation which took place one year ago at the Boston Public Library,” said William Rawn, FAIA of William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc.

“We are incredibly proud that the Central Library Renovation continues to be honored with such distinguished recognition,” said Matthew Consigli, President of Consigli Construction Co., Inc. “The Boston Public Library serves thousands of residents in our community every day, and the positive feedback we receive from library patrons is just as gratifying.”

AIA/ALA Library Building Award

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and American Library Association (ALA) recognized the Central Library Renovation and the construction of the East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library with 2017 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards. The AIA and the ALA developed this award program to encourage and recognize excellence in the architectural design of libraries. Both buildings were designed by William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc. The awards were accepted at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago in late June by Cliff Gayley, Principal, William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc.  and David Leonard, President, and Michael Colford, Director of Library Services, of the Boston Public Library.

Boston Preservation Alliance Preservation Achievement Awards

The Boston Preservation Alliance (BPA) Preservation Achievement Awards are bestowed annually to honor outstanding achievements in historic preservation and compatible new construction in Boston.  These awards will be presented at the BPA annual event at Fenway Park on September 19.

Boston Society of Landscape Architects – 2017 Merit Award for Design

This spring, the Boston Society of Landscape Architects awarded Boston Public Library with the Merit Award for Design. The exterior landscape was designed by Reed Hilderbrand, under the guidance of William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc.

Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) Charter Award

Boston Public Library received the Grand Prize for the Congress for the New Urbanism Charter Award for the Central Library Renovation on May 5. Since 2002, CNU’s annual Charter Awards have recognized outstanding achievements in architectural, landscape, and urban design and planning worldwide. Regarded as the preeminent award for excellence in urban design, the CNU Charter Awards honors a select number of winners and honorable mentions—including one grand professional prize and one grand academic prize for students. Winning projects represent major contributions to building more equitable, sustainable, connected, healthy, and prosperous communities.

Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) New England Chapter – CMAA Project Achievement Award

In early May, the CMAA New England Chapter awarded Boston Public Library, PMA Consultants LLC, and Consigli Construction Co., Inc. with the CMAA Project Achievement Award in the Renovation/Modernization category, recognizing the transformation of the Central Library.

Illuminating Engineering Society – Section Award

On May 25, the Boston/Rhode Island sections of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America awarded Boston Public Library with their Section Award.  This award is in recognition of professionalism, ingenuity, and originality in lighting design based upon the individual merit of each entry against specific criteria.

Paul & Niki Tsongas Award for Biggest Impact in an Urban Preservation Project

On May 10, Preservation Massachusetts awarded Boston Public Library with the Paul & Niki Tsongas Award for Biggest Impact in an Urban Preservation Project. This year’s award program celebrated the projects and collaborative teams that embody the “Power of Preservation” by showcasing the importance, impact and invaluable nature of preservation across Massachusetts and nationwide.

Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-four branches, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit bpl.org.

In addition to its civic projects (including three projects for the Boston Public Library and the new Cambridge Public Library), William Rawn Associates is best known for its music, theatre and dance projects (e.g. Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood) and its college and university work.

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