Eastham Public Library / Oudens Ello Architecture

This new Cape Cod library, situated on a hillside site overlooking one of the town’s many ponds, replaces a 1980’s building that no longer met the demands of a growing community, nor a population that dramatically increases each year during the busy summer months. The project preserves and enhances the original one-room library building dating to 1898, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The new building, partially funded through a 2011 construction grant by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, respects the small historic structure, which serves as a headpiece to a new library building sensitively placed to the rear of the site and scaled to minimize its impact on the historic structure.

The majority of building program – lobby, multipurpose community room, circulation desk, adult reading room and stacks – is located on the upper level, arranged around a central reading garden, and takes full advantage of the dramatic pond views. The lower level houses the children and young adult areas, with direct access to an outdoor program area. The building maximizes flexibility of use, both during normal library hours as well as during off-hour community use, and promotes adaptability to future program changes, at the same time incorporating the latest green building technologies. The project has received a LEED Gold rating from the US Green Building Council.

FROM THE AIA:

Since it opened in January 1898, the original one-room, 300-square-foot Eastham Public Library has undergone two additions as its collections and patron base grew. In order to meet the needs of today’s community, the design team replaced an outmoded 1980s addition with a sleek LEED Gold certified building that blurs the line between indoors and outdoors. The larger addition allowed for the library to double its size. The majority of the new building mass was positioned at the rear of the site to reconcile the size of the addition to the original library, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Overall, the building takes full advantage of the library’s waterfront setting while minimizing the visual impact on the small structure from the road. A palette of naturally weathering materials—cedar shingles and siding as well as bluestone flooring—relates the contemporary structure to its seaside location and vernacular of the historic building.

PROJECT NAME
Eastham Public Library

LOCATION
Eastham, MA

PROJECT STATUS
Built

YEAR COMPLETED
2016

SIZE
18,000 sq. feet

ARCHITECT
Oudens Ello Architecture

CERTIFICATIONS AND DESIGNATIONS
LEED Gold

AWARDS
AIA/ALA Library Building Award 2018

TYPE
Community

SCOPE
New Construction
Addition/Expansion
Renovation/Remodel
Preservation/Restoration
Interiors

Ayda Ayoubi / Architect Magazine