Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
New Central Library in Berlin, Germany by Envés Arquitectos
May 11th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Envés Arquitectos
Zentral- und Landesbibliothek. General intentions: The proposal we submitted to the Competition is based in three dualities:
Open / closed: A library has become one of the few public places that still remaining affordable for citizens, where they are able to:
We conceive a library as an open, public, free and comfortable meeting place; summing up, an urban lobby.
Flexible / Partitioned. A library should be a flexible place, able to interact with a changing user (from a kid to an ancient), but simultaneously should ensure the area’s accessibility and right usage. We, particularly, called this duality as “Clever Flexibility” (opposite to the overall flexibility where any activity can be developed anywhere) and differentiate areas which program is certainly established from those whose evolution is less predictable (i.e. temporal exhibitions).
Landmark / Continuity. The library should become an activity catalyst, a landmark to be perceived from far away. But, simultaneously, it should dialogue, in a continuous way, with Tempelhof Park. In this sense we introduce two opposite concepts:
This duality let us understand the library as a vertical intensification of the park.
Basic project operations
a. We group the general accessible uses and the control spaces and we set them occupying the whole ground floor, as a great urban lobby.
b. According to the concept of “clever flexibility”, we group the places where the books are contained in an only floor, as a transitable “tectonic plate”, placing below the rest of uses which allow an easier adaptability to further program changes.
c. The permanent book storage is placed below the ground level, making easier the media preservation and control. We group the administrative places into the urban side (providing an easier public connection and a representative image of the city because of its transparency)
d. We tilt the “tectonic plate” connecting the east-side with the park height and raising the opposite side towards the city.
e. We remain empty the two opposite sides corners, clearly establishing two library entries.
f. We design the “tectonic plate” as a continuous low-slopped path through transversal ramps which enables a comfortable pedestrian accessibility as well as continuous unitary book storage, adapted to a linear thematic setup.
g. We modulate the “tectonic plate” through a trapezoidal volume, opening skylights to the north (indirect lighting the reading places)
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