What a posh hotel and a new library share

The Boston Globe
November 2, 2009
COMMERCIAL, FABRICATION : PROJECTS

Glass buildings in Boston are often seen as shiny interlopers in a city that prides itself on its historic look and its natural materials: brick town houses, granite wharves, wood triple-deckers.

Maybe that’s changing. Glass, like anything else, can be done well or badly. In two buildings that opened on Thursday, it’s done well. The principal designer of both was the same architect, Boston’s William Rawn.

One building is a gem. The other isn’t quite that, but it’s interesting. The first is the new main branch of the Cambridge Public Library, and the second is the W Boston complex in Park Square.

Glass, as a building material, tends to convey two messages. One: “We’re modern.’’ Two: “We’re transparent.’’ Both messages are clear in the architecture of these buildings, according to a Nov. 1 article in The Boston Globe.

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