The original Woburn Library was designed by Henry Hobson Richardson in 1876. A lot has changed since the library first opened its doors, but nothing more impactful than the city’s population more than quadrupling in size. With a space that could no longer meet the demands of the people and the growing collection of books, the city of Woburn embarked on the renovation, preservation, and expansion of its historic library. With the design led by CBT Architects, Acentech provided acoustics consulting services for this thoughtfully designed project.

Acentech’s consulting services focused on maximizing usability and historic integrity. The 30,500 SF addition was carefully designed to complement the existing building, featuring a light-filled glass connector and repurposing the exterior stone wall of the building into an interior feature wall in the new space. Acoustical ceiling tiles and absorptive materials were integrated to mitigate reverberation and offset the use of hard materials.

The original Richardson building was renovated to highlight the classic design, however, beneath the historic reading room, new mechanical equipment was installed. A sound-barrier ceiling was added in the basement to diminish noise from mechanical systems without impacting the historic building structure and look of the floor-mounted heating grilles of the original building. Recommendations for acoustical comfort and speech intelligibility were also made in regards to the Teen Room, Quiet Study Room, Program Room, and Makerspace. The renovated Woburn Public library is built to serve the future while paying tribute to the past.

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