Valente Library
Cambridge, MA

The Valente Branch is designed to serve both the adjacent schools and the greater Cambridge neighborhood. The 10,000 SF library provides spaces for individuals of all ages and families “all under one roof.” The building form along with the adjacent academic wing create a crescent shaped Civic Plaza along Cambridge Street to welcome the whole community to engage with their new resource.

The branch library is the most public element of the Community Complex. To distinguish it, a primarily glazed façade acts as a beacon for the neighborhood. The library is transparent and inviting to the pedestrians and bikers on this major thoroughfare. The connection to the schools and other community amenities is vital to success of the building as a community complex.

The reading garden was a beloved feature of the 1961 Valente Branch and has been reimagined for the 2019 Valente Branch while respecting the original intent. Materials were selected to provide a warm and inviting space. The branch library has tutor rooms, quiet study and a program/community room. These new program have enabled Valente to double its programming attendance in the first months of opening.
Robert Benson Photography; Nikul Patel Photography