The Sherborn Library was a gift from the Saltonstall family to the Town of Sherborn in 1970. Located in the green landscape of the Sherborn Historic District, its elemental forms and traditional materials sit comfortably with the historic landscape and buildings of the Town Center, and it is a warm, inviting presence and a community living room for the Town. The open plan interior, with its timber construction and expanses of glass, is an inviting place to read, but the single room character meant that the various functions of a modern library were frequently in conflict with one another.
The expansion project added a new wing to the south of the existing building. The addition and the original building form an L around an ancient maple, creating a sheltered south facing courtyard in front of the Children’s Room. On the main level, the addition houses the Children’s Room and associated facilities, and on the lower level a Multipurpose Room and Conference Room provide space for library programs and community meetings. A broad stair connects the two main levels, and an elevator provides accessibility to all three levels. The original building houses Adult Services on the main level and Young Adults on the mezzanine level.
The exterior of the addition takes the wood finishes of the original interior and uses them to clad the upper level, articulated to blend the scale of old and new. The grades allow the cantilevered Story Hour room in the children’s wing to float in the treetops above the after hours entrance. On the courtyard side of the Children’s Room is a long space, glass walled to the courtyard, with a linear skylight reflecting the original building. The lower ceilinged stack area adjacent has a glass wall overlooking Sanger Street to showcase the Children’s Room activities, shaded by an arcaded sunscreen. To the north, the much loved vista to the enormous beech tree opposite the original entrance remains intact for future generations to enjoy.
(In association with Beacon Architectural Associates, executive architect)