Hayden Memorial Becomes a Library for the Future

MIT’s Hayden Memorial Library is one of the most popular spaces on campus, boasting many quiet study spots and stunning views of the Charles River.

But the needs of today’s students, faculty, and staff have evolved since Hayden was constructed in 1951. After a renovation of the first and second floors, slated to begin in January 2020, Hayden will reemerge as a state-of-the art facility, equipped for modern technology needs and welcoming for both collaborative learning and individual study. The design by Kennedy & Violich Architecture will take full advantage of Hayden’s lovely location and suffuse the library with natural light.

When it reopens in the fall of 2020, Hayden will include dynamic, multipurpose spaces, with the first floor housing a new café, event space, and reservable study rooms for collaborative work. In the spirit of MIT’s culture of innovation, flexible furniture configurations will encourage users to customize work spaces and conversation areas. In other words, visitors will be invited to “hack the library!”

The renovation will also modernize Hayden with the installation of a new elevator, removal of inaccessible mezzanine spaces, and the addition of gender-inclusive restrooms. The entire first floor will be open 24 hours a day to everyone in the MIT community.

If donor funding is secured, the courtyard adjacent to Hayden will also be redesigned and opened in the fall of 2020. The landscape design of the courtyard would provide a beautiful outdoor respite for library patrons and community members, with tables for quiet conversation. In the warmer months, the courtyard would be an attractive venue for Hayden, Lewis Music Library, and MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences events.

Hayden Memorial Library, a treasured resource for the MIT community since the 1950s, will soon become an inclusive, well-equipped library for the students, faculty, and staff of today, and for those of the future.

This story was originally published in October 2019.

Aerial view of proposed courtyard. Image: KVAExterior view of Hayden Memorial Library from west. Image: KVA
Aerial view of proposed courtyard. Image: KVA
Exterior view of Hayden Memorial Library from west. Image: KVA

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