West Tisbury Free Public Library
West Tisbury, MA
LEED Gold Building
More than simply accommodating additional program space, this project in West Tisbury, MA was designed to preserve and promote the character and intimacy of a much-loved rural library designed in 1992 by local architect, Ben Moore. The newly renovated and expanded facility in large part preserves the exterior of the original front wing of the library, with minor modifications to provide a more clearly visible and generous front entrance. New space planned to the rear of the existing building to house expanded facilities is planned on two levels. Existing grades are favorable for a significant lowering of grade adjacent to the building, thereby vastly improving the quality of lower level space and transforming what is currently a dark basement into a vibrant lower level with access to natural light and ventilation. The proposed layout also creates two primary outdoor spaces: one on the south side of the main level directly accessible from the children’s room and the other on the north side of the building and accessible from the lower level adult room. The new building will dramatically improve the library’s ability to expand library programming, allow flexibility of use both during and after normal library hours, and create a warm, light-filled, welcoming environment that maintains the cozy charm of the current library, despite more than doubling its size. The project was one of twenty-eight submissions by towns throughout Massachusetts for grants through the MBLC’s Public Library Construction Program, which provides up to 60% of eligible construction costs. West Tisbury was ultimately one of eight towns – along with the Town of Shutesbury, the site of another OEA public library project – to receive immediate full funding from the Commonwealth. The building was opened to the public in March 2014.