Listed within the National Register of Historic Places, the Eastham Public Library recently found itself living in a paradox—how can their institution serve the modern needs of visitors while maintaining the historic integrity of its original building? Although this exact problem can be seen within many library systems, the seasonally-dependent needs of this town added another layer of importance to this much-needed renovation project with Oudens Ello Architecture.

Known as a prime Cape Cod vacation spot, this seaside town faces atypical challenges when looking to assist the local community. Typically a serving about 5,000 year-round residents, Eastham’s population increases threefold during the summer. Besides its gorgeous scenery and warm beaches, a key aspect to this town’s appeal is its quintessential New England charm. Therefore, maintaining the historic integrity of communal spaces, is an essential aspect to the area’s tourism industry. Selected by Oudens Ello to provide acoustics consulting, Acentech assisted in creating an updated and expanded library that needed to become a comfortable, welcoming environment without sacrificing aesthetics.

The Eastham Public Library expansion prioritized reverberation control and mechanical system design to ensure this fresh take on public space was useable for visitors—whether they are tourists staying for a weekend or year-round locals. Minimizing the transference of sound in a widely used facility often boils down to having proper room treatments, space planning, and designing MEP systems with proper sound and vibration isolation in place. These thoughtful acoustical touches allow everyone to enjoy this library with minimal disturbance, no matter if they are reading a book to their children, taking a class on creative writing, or cramming for a final exam.

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