Harvard University Yenching Library, Cambridge, MA

Harvard University Yenching Library, Cambridge, MA

Scope
Renovation
17,500 sf

Home to one of the world’s largest collections of printed matter from and related to East Asia, the Harvard-Yenching Library contains nearly a million volumes. Last renovated in 1957, the library required a comprehensive plan to alleviate overcrowding in its growing collections, to protect library elements, and to provide new office areas. 

Davis Square Architects performed a life safety systems evaluation for the facility. A strategy was developed for remediation of blocked egress passageways, insufficient emergency response and HVAC systems, as well as fire stopping for the multi-tiered library stacks.

The renovated basement level includes new office space, a protected area for rare documents, and storage for incoming new material. Public areas on the first floor feature reconfigured reception spaces and custom cabinetry to accommodate librarians’ needs, researchers’ computers, and terminals for the library’s online services.