Boston Public Library, Central Branch
Johnson Building Improvements
Boston, MA

The Johnson Building project consists of 156,000 SF in renovations in two phases to the landmarked 1972 Phillip Johnson Addition to the Central Branch of the Boston Public Library. The BPL seeks to welcome the public, engage young patrons, and demonstrate that the library is a place for life-long learning and exploration. The renovations include the removal of the granite plinths, which currently block the ground floor windows, and replacement of the dark glazing with a visually transparent curtainwall.

Phase 1, completed in early 2015, provides greater and improved amenities for the Reference, General Collections, Childrens, and Teens.

Phase 2, completed in the summer of 2016, removes the granite plinths. The three bays facing Boylston open up to create a new two-story Boylston Hall, which includes additional entry points and retail on the northwest corner.

2020 WalkBoston Golden Shoe Award
2018 ACEC of Massachusetts Engineering Excellence Gold Award
2018 CISCA Construction Excellence Award
2017 BSA Harleston Parker Medal – Most Beautiful Building in Boston
2017 BSA Harleston Parker People’s Choice Award Winner
2017 AIA/ALA Library Building Award
2017 Congress for New Urbanism Charter Award Grand Prize
2017 AIA New England Design Citation Award
2017 Boston Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award for Design
2017 Preservation Massachusetts Paul & Niki Tsongas “The Power of Preservation” Award for Biggest Impact: Urban Category
2017 Boston Preservation Alliance, Preservation Achievement Award
2017 Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation Award
2017 Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts Build New England Honor Award
2017 Engineering News Record: New England Region Renovation/Restoration Best Projects Merit Award
2017 CMAA New England Renovation/Modernization Project of the Year
2017 Illumination Engineering Society (IES) of Boston Section Award
© Robert Benson Photography; © Bruce T. Martin