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Assistant Professor Michelle Laboy was recently quoted in Design New England on the library project  she worked on with Maryann Thompson Architects (MTA). The article, entitled, Structural Beauty, features the library of the International School of Boston in Cambridge. The space was formerly workhouse and now features the structural underpinning of this 165-year-old building. The school purchased the space about 10 years ago and MTA was brought in to do a master plan.

Laboy climbed a ladder through two ceilings to see  what was holding up the building’s cupola. The trusses were discovered and became one of the central design features of the project. Acting as both design and project manager from planning to construction, Laboy sought to create a dynamic space that would encourage movement. The library is lined with Baltic birch plywood walls that offer curves within this octagonal space.

The firm worked with fabricators who could combine digital technology with a high level of craft in creating the complicated arrangements of shelving and reading nooks. The natural wood, the layers of natural and artificial light, and the uniqueness of this space and its renovation have been a draw for the school in attracting new students and creating versatile space for the existing community.

See the full article here.