Somerville, MA – Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, Ward 6 City Councilor Lance Davis, the Somerville Library trustees, architect Ben Youtz, and representatives from CTA Construction Managers recently joined members of the Somerville community for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the newly renovated and restored West Branch Library.
Crews from CTA Construction Managers completed a full renovation of the existing 1909 historic landmark structure and built a new addition to the iconic Carnegie classical revival style building. DesignLab Architects, who took on the restoration project and designed the new addition, blended the restoration with the new space. The addition houses several different community multipurpose flex spaces. The space also incorporated the city’s vision of a blended indoor/outdoor space with the inclusion of a floor-to-ceiling glass wall that opens directly to a landscaped multi-purpose space.
“The NanaWall is a signature design feature of the new addition that is an integral component of the building envelope while providing flexibility in program use. When closed, it provides a tight enclosure, yet still allows for uninterrupted views from the new community gathering space within the building to the outdoor reading garden. When open, it allows the line between indoor and outdoor spaces to be blurred, so that a variety of events can take place that take advantage of the gracious connection between inside and out,” said Ben Youtz, lead architect on the project.
“We’ve worked with CTA for almost 20 years, and this is our third public library together,” said John Sayre-Scibona, owner’s project manager from Design Technique, Inc. “The collaborative experience with CTA, designLAB Architects, Mayor Curtatone’s office, the City Council, library staff, and the library trustees was instrumental in bringing this worthwhile and much needed civic project to fruition.”
“It was a five-year planning process before construction even began, and that was before Covid hit mid-construction,” said Rob Cassano, project manager for the City of Somerville. “We wanted and were able to deliver a space that not only preserved the historic elements of the original structure but was also fully accessible to the entire public and visually consistent with the neighborhood.”