Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Hayden Library Renovation, Building 14

MIT’s renewal of Hayden Library, a central element of the campus, transformed its spaces and services to better support research, learning, interaction, and community building.

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Hayden Courtyard at dusk (Photo: J. Horner)

Hayden Library Renovation, Building 14

160 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA

Status: Complete

Themes: Renovation and renewal
Sustainability
Enhancement of life and learning

Completion: 2021

MIT’s renewal of Hayden Library, a central element of the campus, transformed its spaces and services to better support research, learning, interaction, and community building.

Overview

Hayden Courtyard at dusk (Photo: J. Horner)
Hayden entrance (Photo: J. Horner)
Hayden ground floor (Photo: J. Horner)
Hayden mezzanine (Photo: J. Horner)
Hayden reading room (Photo: J. Horner)
Hayden Nexus (Photo: J. Horner)
Hayden reserves (Photo: J. Horner)
Hayden Plaza (Photo: J. Horner)
Hayden Cafe (Photo: J. Horner)
Hayden Courtyard night (Photo: J. Horner)

Status

Complete

Completion Date

2021

Themes and priorities

Renovation and renewal
Sustainability
Enhancement of life and learning

Originally designed by Voorhees, Walker, Foley & Smith, Hayden Library first opened in 1951 and has served for nearly 70 years as a central element of the campus. MIT has renewed and restored the Library’s first two floors, updating the main reading rooms and office spaces to reflect the changing nature of the research library for today’s students and faculty.

“Libraries have a unique role to play at an institution like MIT, especially the physical spaces of the Libraries,” explains Chris Bourg, director of the MIT Libraries. “It was critical that the new Hayden Library and courtyard meet some core needs for the MIT community, including a place for working hands-on with collections, spaces for collaborative group work and community building, and accessible, welcoming spots for working or relaxing in beautiful surroundings.”

The design enables the first floor to serve as a dynamic, flexible community space for dialogue, with seating areas, The Courtyard Café, the Nexus (a multipurpose event and teaching space), and eight reservable study rooms to foster interaction and collaboration. Windows facing the courtyard fill the space with natural light. On the second floor, the reading room remains a place for quiet study, paired with improved office spaces, consultation areas, and the Oasis – envisioned as a technology-minimal zone for relaxing. Outside, the revitalized courtyard features a woodland garden, nine Katsura trees, seating areas, and a walkway. Building 14 also received infrastructure upgrades including systems improvements, code and accessibility upgrades, enlarged and renovated restrooms, an expanded new elevator, and updates to improve energy performance. Exterior work included restoration of the north and south windows, repairs to sections of the limestone walls, and refurbishment of the northeast entrance. The project’s scope and development were informed by the 2016 MIT Task Force on the Future of Libraries preliminary report and by community input gathered through surveys, open forums, and workshops held in spring 2019.

The project received LEED Gold v4 certification.

 

 

Image credits

J. Horner

Details

Address

160 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA

Use

Academic

Project Team

Architect: Kennedy Violich Architecture, Boston, MA
Construction manager: Elaine Construction, Newton Upper Falls, MA
MIT Team: Joyand Charles, Emma Corbalan

Scope

32,000 gsf

Design Features

  • 24-hour accessible first floor
  • Second-floor reading room for quiet study
  • Individual study spaces, collaboration spaces, and reservable study rooms
  • Multipurpose event and teaching space
  • Café
  • Computing stations
  • Expanded, upgraded, and inclusive restroom facilities
  • Expanded, new elevator and new stairway
  • Improved offices and front-of-house staff support/improvements
  • Entrance repairs
  • Code compliance and accessibility upgrades

Awards

Boston Society of Architects

  • 2021 Honor Awards for Design Excellence (site)
  • 2021 Accessible Design Awards (site)
  • 2021 Higher Education Facilities Design (site)

Map

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