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LIBRARY AS URBAN LIVING ROOM

COLUMBIA GSAPP   |   CRITIC: MIMI  HOANG   |   SPRING 2017

 

urban living room  |  third space

Under the compression of living spaces and increasing demand for information access in the 21set Century, Library has been transformed into an extension of home and workspace, an essential ‘third space’ that provides access to public services. ‘Library as Urban Living room’ manifests the contemporary form of atomized domestic life, serves to provide a common ground for both public gatherings and solitary working spaces, which brings together the community by fostering spontaneous interactions among individuals.

 
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Site  |  brooklyn

The library is composed of a combination of small, human-scaled units that resemble the size of a typical living room. The unit echoes with the aggregated streetscape at an urban scale, whereas the open spaces aact as extensions of existing ‘urban living rooms’ such as the Albee Square and the Dime Savings Bank.

precedent study  |  labrouste & ito 

Tracing back to libraries in the past, Labrouste’s Bibliotheque Nationale has one central reading room (a single living room for all). Prevalent in the 21st Century, the idea of a continuous open reading space is still relevant, yet reading spaces are divided and customized into distinct zones for different users, as shown in the Gifu Cosmo Media. 

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STRUCTURE & SYSTEM  |  HEXAHEDRON 

Alternate planes are eliminated from each hexahedron to create openness, allowing circulation across the hexahedrons. The relationship of hexahedrons are investigated to study the type of spaces created in between. A 30’ x 30’ hexahedron is adopted, relative to a typical size of a living room for social gathering. 

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URBAN LIVING ROOM

Hexahedron takes the form of a contemporary translation of the historical ‘dome’. It defines space by intervening three-dimensional space, controlling light and shadow within the volume. This historical reference forms a relation to the West dome of the Bank. Interior ‘living rooms’ are housed within the hexahedrons. Outdoor ‘living rooms’ are created in the interstitial spaces, which open towards the street.

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BINARY SYSTEM

The alternating grid creates binary spatial and lighting conditions. The modules react to the ground plan in the site, gives definition to the ground plaza by creating indents and sunken plaza.

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INTERNAL VS EXTERNAL  |  3RD FLOOR PLAN

Composed of an alternated grid of twisted hexahedrons that resemble the scale of the building blocks along Fulton Street, the hexahedrons house the main ‘urban living rooms’ to accomodate collective social activities. The structural hexahedrons operate to create a transition from open ground to intimate spaces up, at the same time filter natural light across floors which activates ‘living rooms’ within and around. 

Ground Floor Plan

Ground Floor Plan

6th Floor Plan

6th Floor Plan

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CAPTURE LIGHT  |  1/4”=1’-0” MODEL

The cut-away model reveals the three dimensionality within the hexahedron. Allowing circulation across and arround the volume, it defines formal and informal spaces by capturing light within. 

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AROUND THE HEXAHEDRON  | UNFOLDED VIEWS

Space within the hexahedron becomes a ‘living room’ by housing all activities across different levels. Visibility and circulation takes place within the hexahedron, activating the library space as an urban hub for social gathering and reading. Circulation continues as staircases run along the planes of the hexahedron, guiding users to move dynamically through the library. One follows the folding sequence of a hexahedron as walking up the stairs. The staircase emphasizes the intertwined geometry of hexahedrons, one plane connected to the other.