Hayden Library reopens after renovations

New spaces include courtyard, cafe, flexible study and community areas

Hayden Library and the Building 14 courtyard reopened to the MIT community Aug. 23 after almost two years of renovations.

A celebration of the library’s reopening will take place Sept. 7–10.

Renovation of the Hayden Library began in January 2020, following a design phase that included input from the MIT community and was guided by the Ad Hoc Task Force on the Future of Libraries.

The design of the library and courtyard was created by Kennedy & Violich Architecture. The design concept, called “Research Crossroads”, aimed to reflect “the many intersections that define research in today’s academic library — connections between disciplines, community members, and between digital and tangible collections,” MIT Libraries Director of Communications Brigham Fay wrote in an email to The Tech.

The first floor of the newly renovated library includes a courtyard, a central staircase and pavilions, a space for community events called The Nexus, a Courtyard Cafe, and a collaborative reading room. 

The courtyard is a green space with a wall of accordion doors that open to the outdoors. The Nexus has sound and projection capabilities, a retractable wall, and furniture that can be rearranged to transition the space for community events or studying.

The Courtyard Cafe will be open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m.–6 p.m., and features an open seating area overlooking the courtyard.

The intermediate 1M floor of the library includes several group study rooms which can be reserved online, as well as a loft above the first floor reading room and cafe seating area.

The second floor of the library includes a quiet reading room, a consultation suite for meetings with library experts, a rest area called The Oasis, and a large study room.

The Oasis is a space meant for contemplation, meditation, or a break where community members are encouraged to unplug and rest. 

The library is the first construction project at MIT to focus on “Red List Free” materials for its interior finishes and fabrics and to use 1.0 gallon per flush toilets, which save 90,000 gallons of water per year over conventional toilets.

The library was renovated with additional energy considerations in mind, such as high-performance sealed insulated windows to reduce thermal losses and upgrades to air-handling units and lighting to optimize energy use.