Weymouth selects Tappé Architects to design new Tufts Library

Tufts Library
Tufts Library (Existing)

Weymouth, MA – Mayor Robert Hedlund announced today that the Town’s Library Construction Committee has recommended Tappé Architects (Tappé) of Boston to complete the design of Weymouth’s new Tufts Library. Tappé will spearhead the project’s design team and will provide the architectural, engineering, and other professional services required to prepare and bid the $33 million public library project.

Tappé has designed, planned, and facilitated over 90 public, private, and academic libraries over the last 37 years. The firm is nationally recognized for its up-to-date understanding of trends and requirements in library design, and has extensive experience in inserting new facilities into existing traditional contexts.

In the past two years, Tappé has opened five libraries, including two renovations and three new constructions. Tappé has also worked in collaboration with the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissions (MBLC) on over $37 million in public library design and construction projects, ranging from the second largest library in Massachusetts (Worcester Public Library, 150,000 GSF) to the 5,600 GSF Westhampton Public Library. In addition, all libraries completed by Tappé since 2008 have achieved or exceeded their energy and environmental design (LEED) certification goals.    

“Tappé has stellar credentials in the field of library design,” said Mayor Robert Hedlund. “They not only have a strong track record of on-time, on-budget performance; but they understand the value and opportunities that an engaging and uniquely tuned library adds to a community. I am excited to have Tappé on board and thank the Library Construction Committee for their diligence in selecting a highly qualified firm.”  

“It is an honor to be selected for this important project,” said Tappé Project Executive and Managing Principal Charles Hay, AIA. “We are eager to focus our team’s skills on designing a library building for Weymouth that will support and enhance the community’s initiatives and innovations for library service excellence well into the future.”

The New Tufts Library Project is a $33 million public building project to demolish the existing library, now more than 50 years old, and reconstruct the building as a modern, 21st-century library. The new building program will provide an additional 17,000 gross square feet and will included an expanded children’s department, a new local history center, numerous study rooms, a variety of programming areas for different user groups, a comprehensive and scalable technology infrastructure, and a suite of community meeting rooms available for after-hours use.  

In July of 2017, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) awarded the Town a $12,085,184 Provisional Construction Grant to help finance the Tufts Library project. Weymouth was one of nine communities to receive a MBLC grant out of 33 library applicants. In October of 2017, the Weymouth Town Council voted unanimously to authorize borrowing of the local match necessary to accept the Town’s MBLC grant.

In the coming months, Tappé will assist the Town in translating the functional requirements of its building program and preliminary library design into a set of biddable construction documents. Tappé will work with the Library Construction Committee and Town staff to engage the community and develop a library design that is welcoming, comfortable, and incorporates the latest in library service initiatives. Goals for the new library include a building that is a source of pride for the community, a cultural and economic anchor for Weymouth Landing, and an example to the Commonwealth of what a public library can and should be.

"Tappe's record of translating the needs of the community into exciting and engaging library spaces is impressive," said the Town’s Director of Library Services Robert MacLean. "We expect the new Tufts Library to be a go-to destination for residents who are looking to connect with our collections, services, programs, and each other."

Under Massachusetts law, designers for public building projects are competitively selected on the basis of qualifications, without consideration of price. The Town released its Request for Designer Qualifications (RFQ) on January 31, 2018. A not-to-exceed price of $2 million was set as the Town’s maximum contract obligation. Written responses were received from 10 firms and were evaluated by members of the Library Construction Committee using weighted evaluation criteria. The five highest scoring firms were short listed for interviews, held on March 6 and 7, 2018. Upon completion of the interviews, the Library Construction Committee voted unanimously to recommend Tappé as the project’s designer.