Newton Public Library
Newton What are we to make of Libraries today?

Is a library simply a container for an archaic method of storing information?  Does it still hold a special status within our culture?  How to we interpret this status today, and historically?  Can we approach the problem simply as a ‘typology in crisis’?  How do we discuss a relationship between a reader and an author?  Between architect and client?  What makes a library different from a bookstore?  From a museum?  The goal of this studio is to flesh out an approach to making, through an understanding of metaphor as a way of thinking, specifically within the context of a library.

The Directors of the Library, an extremely enlightened group of individuals, understand the importance of a dialogue between themselves and you, the architect.  As such, you should feel free to shape and mold the program so as to represent issues that arise during the design search.  However, this is not to be understood as an open invitation for you to hand down your will to the people of Newton.   The Directors are particularly interested in the social and cultural role that they feel the Library must play within the community of Newton.  This is revealed by their site selection.  They are undecided, however, of the impact that recent technologies may place upon the experience of the Library.

The proposal is for a Library, of less than 30,000 sq.ft.  The site is to be located in the symbolic center of Newton Massachusetts, across from the existing Neo-Georgian City Hall, and the culmination of the Olmstead designed, Emerald Necklace.  A small brook moves north from the park, through the site, and into the Newton Town Cemetery, which forms the southern border to the site.