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Boyden Library

The existing Boyden Library in Foxborough, built from 1967-1968, is a surviving example of mid-century brutalist architecture. By its design and nature of untouched longevity, it is a beautifully honest representation of construction method and structural integrity, yet was in need of an expansion and reconfiguration. A renovation of the existing 20,000 square foot space included replacement of mechanical systems, roofing, windows, elevator, removal of all asbestos and addressing all handicap accessibility issues.

In keeping with the original form, the new addition remained in concrete, glass, and monolithic limestone. The horizontal and vertical geometry of structural components and windows also remained intact as a complement to the original design. The additional 13,800 square feet provides increased space for Boyden Library and its expanding collection of literary and media resources. More than 30 computers have been added for public use and an improved meeting room provides space for Foxborough’s community groups and organizations. The top floor is home to an inviting and sun-filled children’s department, now double the size of its previous square footage, and equipped with cozy furniture and colorful shelf paneling that changes with images of the New England season.

A glass-paneled staircase provides an intriguing experience for those accessing the first and second floors with expansive views of the outside. The largest area in the library is the reading room, which contains fiction, periodicals, and several computer stations. The mezzanine, or half-floor, contains the administrative offices, local history, and a café area. An art gallery outside the meeting room provides a place for local artists to share their art with the community.

The $11.6 million project was partially funded through a $3.6 million construction grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissions and an additional $7.5 million of town-approved funding. Other funds came from a fundraising campaign and private funds which includes money from the library’s trust fund and donations.

Photography by Bruce T. Martin.

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