Babson College Three-Phased Design Underway

Exterior, new 10,000sf addition, Babson Commons at Horn Library / rendering by Dongik Lee

Designed by Finegold Alexander Architects

Wellseley, MA – Finegold Alexander Architects recently announced the firm is spearheading a three-phased design and renovation project at Babson College.

A minor library renovation was completed in 2016, and this year, the firm is designing a new addition to the Horn Library which will be known as Babson Commons. The addition will be designed and dovetailed with major renovations to the first floor of the library.

At a separate site, the firm is leading a team to create Centennial Park, which will be the new home of Babson’s famous Globe and a statue of Roger Babson. The project kicked off in March, with the moving of the Globe. Its year-long restoration is underway. In May 2019, the Globe will be unveiled as the centerpiece in the new Centennial Park.

Construction for Babson Commons and Centennial Park began in June and is slated for completion in May 2019. The Horn Library renovations will be completed in fall 2019, in time for the college’s centennial celebration.

Team members include construction manager, Lee Kennedy Co Inc.; interior designer, Stefura Associates Inc.; landscape architect, Stephen Stimson Associates; structural engineer, L.A. Fuess Partners; MEP engineer, BLW Engineers Inc.; civil engineer, H.W. Moore Associates, Inc.; code research, Hastings Consulting, Inc.; lighting design of Babson Commons and Horn Library, Sladen Feinstein Integrated Lighting Inc.; lighting design of Centennial Park, Collaborative Lighting, LLC.; bridge engineer/Globe restoration, Stafford Bandlow Engineering, Inc.

Interior detail, café and mezzanine, Babson Commons at Horn Library / rendering by Dongik Lee

Babson Commons and Horn renovation will be a dramatic new 10,000sf addition to the Horn Library with a focus on informal student gathering, featuring a four-season garden, a café, collaborative work areas, and a new, more prominent home and entrance for the renowned Stephen D. Cutler Center for Investments and Finance.

The second floor provides a variety of spaces such as two quiet group study rooms, a small lounge with a fireplace, and a balcony with seating that overlooks the seating areas and garden cafe below.

At the ground level within the existing library, the design will provide additional study space for students, a centralized academic support center for speech, writing, and math with testing rooms, new offices, and a reception area. This work will involve relocation planning for other areas of campus to accommodate the new resource center and needed office space.

The design for Babson Commons will be well integrated with the existing Horn Library. Interiors will be contemporary and will reflect the Babson brand with warm, sophisticated furnishings, finishes, and lighting. A skylight and generous use of glass will provide natural light throughout.

Interior, The Commons at Horn Library/ rendering Dongik Lee

The design for Centennial Park, in honor of Babson’s 100-year anniversary, will be a centralized, eye-catching community gathering space that brings together existing and new Babson landmarks, and will serve as a visual representation of the College’s history and accomplishments during its first 100 years. It will create an exciting new space in the heart of the Wellesley campus and will house the college’s famous rotating Globe and international flags representing Babson’s student body.

“The project will help Babson to achieve the college’s institutional goal of creating a unified library environment that places the library at the heart of the College by providing a range of spaces for research, collaboration, learning, and socialization.” added Anselone.

Despite the surge in usage of digital and internet-related research tools, the library as a community and learning space is more important than ever. The new Horn Library will create the right combination of appropriate spaces for collaboration, team projects and research as well as traditional study and quiet space.

“Babson, the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds​​​​​​​​​​®, is about to celebrate its Centennial year,” says Babson CAO Katherine Craven. “We are undertaking a number of exciting construction and renovation projects on campus that will allow us to advance Entrepreneurial Thought and Action​​​​​​​​​​​​​® as a powerful force for generating sustainable economic and social value.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​”

“Defining what a university library requires in its evolution to serve students is no easy task as the library of the 21stcentury continues to evolve,” said Ellen Anselone, Principal, Finegold Alexander Architects, who is serving as Project Manager. “ The team at Finegold Alexander Architects is thrilled to be part of this library transformation on the historic campus.”