Designed by JBAD (Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design), the proposal for the Daegu Gosan Public Library proposes to simply, and radically, invert the conventional relationship of public space, circulation and access. In doing so, the public space typically defined and confined as interior, enclosed space becomes externalized, extroverted, stretched, and reformed. With their ”INversion’ concept, the way of interpreting the library as structure and space provides an opportunity to create exterior public space in ways that are both more integrated with the library’s functions and more connected to its urban context. More images and architects’ description after the break.
As the concept of the library in the 21st Century advances in a direction that departs significantly from conventional notions of the library experience and purpose, some of the more essential architectural assumptions of the type also must be questioned. Libraries are quickly transforming and being redefined as centers of information, community, culture and creativity. They are becoming places of exchange, generation and reinterpretation – not simply a portal to the past, but a source of the future. They are responding to demands for more access to more people, in more ways, for more reasons.
This kind of reinvention of the function and role of the library, as expressed in its physical form, requires a reconsideration of the very basic spatial and organizational relationships of its architecture. The primary convention in the way the library’s resources are made available to the public is the large-scale Main Hall, which serves as the primary point of entry and from which the major library functions are discovered and accessed. In a library where these (reinvented) functions are made more accessible and are subject to a wider range of interpretation, their access and identity must dramatically change to become more autonomous and immediate.
Access to the various library functions typically provided through corridors and thresholds is now a more immediate experience where the functions are understood as objects and access can be provided through multiple points along the externalized new Main Hall space. And, indeed, the identity of those functions, typically communicated through signage, becomes the role of the architecture itself, the functions as objects identified by their form and exposed through transparent envelopes.
The conventional public entry plaza becomes part of the building’s circulation which is seamlessly connected to the other outdoor gathering places, gardens and the children’s play area. This externalized circulation is configured in ways that connect, directly and intentionally, to the surrounding city, it’s walking paths, streets and public spaces. With views to the city at all points along the circulation path, orientation within the library then becomes an orientation to the city. The library, in this way, becomes very much an inseparable part of the city, spatially, functionally and systematically.