Kingston Public Library
Completion 2020 (estimated)
As one of the sponsoring firms of the 2014 Library Journal Design Institute at the Boston Public Library, Oudens Ello Architecture conducted a workshop for conference participants using the planned expansion of the Kingston Public Library as a case study to explore issues of contemporary library programming and planning. Subsequent to that workshop, OEA was hired by the town as architects for a feasibility study in pursuit of a 2017 MBLC Construction Grant. The study examined expansion strategies for the current building, converted to a library from an AT&T switching station in 1994, along with options for an entirely new facility. It was quickly determined that the existing building was too inflexible, limiting planning of an expanded facility. The proposed new 21,000 SF facility—located on the existing site at a highly visible intersection and directly across the street from the original 1898 library building—is planned as a single story building organized around a central reading garden. The wing facing the main street houses the main adult, teen, and children collections and reading rooms, while the wing on the opposite side of the center garden accommodates community program space including meeting rooms, cafe lounge, kitchen, and archives, all flexibly planned to allow off-hours access. The centrally located circulation desk provides a high degree of visual control for the building.The exterior material palette is comprised of regional materials including a combination of slate cladding and wood siding.