Norwell Public Library

Norwell, MA
Key Elements
  • New library on a wooded site
  • Central rain garden for stormwater management
  • 2021 Award for Design Excellence from AIA New England

The new Norwell Library replaced an old, outdated library that no longer served its community effectively. The new library, located on the same site as the old library at 64 South Street, drew its inspiration from the natural qualities of the wooded site. The 21,000-square-foot single-story library is comprised of three distinct wings organized around a central rain garden. With ample light and thoughtful connections to the outdoors, the new Norwell Public Library aims to be a pleasant and productive space for visitors of all ages.

The rain garden provides stormwater filtering and mitigation for most rain events, and can move larger storms quickly through a series of pipes to the rear of the property. Rain gardens were also employed in the parking lot in response to the site’s location near sensitive wetlands. Stormwater that enters these rain gardens is then redistributed to the surrounding wetland systems.

Key Collaborators

Owner: Town of Norwell
Architect: Oudens Ello Architecture