ABOUT THE PROJECT
Instructor: Jeffry Burchard
GSD 2nd Semester Core Studio, May 2014
Sited across from Boston’s Museum of Fine Art, the Emerald Necklace Library is designed to house 30,000 rare books while offering airy reading rooms, conference rooms, and lecture halls. One enters the library from the opposite side of the river into the intersecting moment of the public and private programs. Mimicking the MFA’s rectilinear grid plan, the book collection sector is divided into an even grid planimetrically. However, by a series of simple sectional operations, these grid cells take on very distinct roles such as book shelves and study carrels. Through these operations, rather simple plans are able to generate a sectionally dynamic space where the view corridor is constantly changing from one spot to another.
Since the library is closely tied to the MFA and situated on one of Boston’s most treasured grounds, the project must address the site in a welcoming and friendly way. As shown in the plan, the shape of the building sits comfortably in the elbow of the river. Meanwhile, the column grid, albeit regularly distributed, takes on different forms that reflect the local tectonic demand. The solid pillars beneath the large reading room are easily transformed into a forest of tall, spindly columns that engage with the ground as well as the frolicking park-goers.