Utile worked with the Boston Public Facilities Department and the Boston Public Library to complete the comprehensive renovation of the Roxbury Branch of the Boston Public Library in Nubian Square, following a previous entry design and programming study for the building. This project creates a welcoming environment for visitors, enhances the library’s presence in the Lower Roxbury community, and fully upgraded the outdated building systems.
The 27,000 square foot renovation includes a revitalized community room with state-of-the-art audiovisual technology, new lighting, and large windows overlooking a new entrance and plaza. New programs include a technology teaching lab and a nutrition lab featuring a full kitchen, and a dedicated African American collection is prominently located just inside the new entrance. Expanded computer stations and laptop availability provide visitors with access to technology throughout the library.
The renovation visually opens up the library to the community by replacing much of the concrete and glass block walls with new transparent window walls. The entrance was re-oriented to Dudley Street and the Nubian Square MBTA Station to further engage with the neighborhood, and overlook a fully redesigned plaza. A raised terrace under a large entry canopy provides shaded outdoor space for reading and accessing the library’s Wi-Fi.
Additional building upgrades include new windows, new insulation, a new roof, and modernized HVAC and lighting to significantly reduce the building’s energy consumption and carbon footprint. The library is now fully accessible with a new elevator and enhanced technology for the hearing impaired.
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and the Boston Public Library announced the completion of the Roxbury Branch Library renovation on October 28, 2020.