This was a student project by Joof Farah for Sandhya Kochar's course ARCH 3410 in Autumn 2017.
For me, the most obvious thing you notice in a library is the complexity of experiences.
Whether that may be with sound, space, organization or lack thereof, this complexity is what
makes everyone have their favorite spot they seek whenever they visit the library. There is a
constant weaving in and out of spaces with different purposes throughout the library. This
creates zones that serve a specific function as well as pockets within these zones that are
sometimes purposed for the exact opposite of the zone they inhabit e.g. silent study spaces
pocketed within much more public, loud spaces. This level of complexity is what I attempted to achieve with this project.
Formally the project is organized as 3 floors containing three different spatial relationships with
objects and gardens.
The first floor is organized around the concept of the cross axis that divides the space into 4
quadrants. The main entrance is organized within one of the quadrants instead of being within
the axis. One enters sectionally under a garden and through a garden. Upon entrance(from
main entry) viewers are met with a large open space, directly under a cantilevering floor as well as the large auditorium situated ten feet underground to their immediate left. With the first
floor, order is prioritized. The floor is organized by a four square grid with a tilted axis that
divided the spaces to; Each quadrant displays the components of the library program as
performance/production, administration, library stacks and gathering spaces as café/lounge.
The viewers are meant to circulate by means of the large axis to move from space to space.
Stairs are organized at the end point of the axis that leads to the second floor.
The second floor is organized around the concept of objects by way of Cylindrical spaces and
cross shaped objects. One encounters a string of cylindrical objects that reinforce a room to
room circulation stitching alike programs such as reading rooms, lounge areas, study spaces
and gardens. This route terminates in the cross shaped antique medical library that overlooks
the city and the quadrant of the auditorium/performance below.
The third floor reiterates the cross axes from the first floors but takes on a different spatial
relationship with the objects. They can now be looked at as objects within a field of stacks. Each quadrant has a different embedded object with different spatial relationships. Much like the
first floor, this floor is also organized by an axis. However, unlike the first floor, the spaces’
organization on the third floor give no sense of order. They seem to have been placed in their
respective spots arbitrarily. Objects in field. Viewers have numerous ways of navigating through this floor thanks to the multiplicity of axes made by the book stacks. Another role the
organization of the book stacks takes on is providing a surprise element. Because of the
numerous amounts of axes, some leading to spaces and circulation, others leading to a wall,
viewers have to discover the spaces within this field, one of which is a garden with an open
roof, directly perpendicular to the garden at entrance, juno, rare book library and a garden that
reconnects back to the street with the botanical gardens.