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Steel Shots: Reading Between the Lines
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 5, 2013 at 5:13 PM.

east-boston-library_sitn_500.jpg
A new public library in East Boston is the focal point of a park that sits between a residential neighborhood and the waterfront, with the idea of bringing both together. The above image shows one of the signature lens-shaped clerestories between three arching ribbons which open up to allow natural light into the library’s reading room, offering a view of the sky and emphasizing the independence of each ribbon. Photo: LeMessurier Consultants

 

Since 2007, the Bremen Street Park has acted as a modest greenway between residential East Boston and the highway that runs through this historic transportation hub. New plans to realize the full potential of this greenway will enhance the civic and visual relationships between the park and East Boston and will complement the work that East Boston has done to reclaim its waterfront for recreational use.

 

Sited at the north end of the Bremen Street Park, the new 14,800-sq.-ft East Boston Public Library will create a strong sense of visual identity both from the highway above and from the park below.

 

From above, the one-story library’s roofs rise and fall in general curves, like a rolling landscape amidst the semi-industrial scene. From below, families in Bremen Street Park will experience these same roofs as floating surfaces, ribbon-like in their thinness and in the way they seem to hover above the library’s reading room, which is the building’s centerpiece.

 

The front roof cantilevers 12 ft continuously over the building’s glass facade, providing a canopy and a reference to the horizontality of the park. Projecting 24 ft into the reading room, the first arching ribbon meets with its counterpart curving in the opposite direction. This happens once more between the second and third ribbons.

 

Between these first three roofs, lens-shaped clerestories open up to allow natural light into the library’s reading room, offering a view of the sky and emphasizing the independence of each ribbon.

 

You can read about the East Boston Public Library project in further detail in the July 2013 issue of MSC (available now!). Click here to access the article directly.


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