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Maya Lin and Shepley Bulfinch chosen to redesign Smith College Library

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Maya Lin, whose balance between art and architecture is evident in her very first project, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and throughout her career, and Shepley Bulfinch, with an impressive portfolio of higher education projects, have been selected to partner on the re-imagining and redesign of Smith College’s Neilson Library. The project, which will be Lin’s first college library and one of the most significant capital projects in Smith College’s history, is expected to break ground in 2017.

Smith College President Kathleen McCartney said that the Lin/Shepley Bulfinch team was chosen for the project after an international search. “Maya Lin’s celebrated work within the combined fields of architecture, art and landscape, coupled with Shepley Bulfinch’s extensive experience in creating 21st-century academic libraries, will create a new library that is not only functional but forward-looking,” McCartney said. “Maya Lin thinks of libraries as today’s temples–spaces for reflection, intellectual exploration, and discussion of ideas. I am confident that she and the design team will work in close partnership with the Smith community to create a library that will showcase our collections and enrich our community in ways we can only begin to imagine.”

Shepley Bulfinch brings valuable experience to the Neilson redesign, both through previous library designs (including Johns Hopkins, Duke and the University of Notre Dame) and through the work that the firm has done since 2010 in planning for new Neilson. In the upcoming phases of the Smith project, Maya Lin Studio will lead development of an integrated design strategy that encompasses building and site, and Shepley Bulfinch will lead the programming effort, as well as overall project execution.

“It has been a privilege to partner with Smith in early stages of planning for this project,” said Shepley Bulfinch President Carole Wedge. “We are delighted to have been chosen to work with Maya Lin on the next phases of a comprehensive design. We look forward to working with Maya Lin Studio and the Smith community to create an unprecedented library that is uniquely suited to the culture of Smith College.”

Smith College news release – April 8, 2015

New York Times story – April 8, 2015

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