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We were tasked with reimaging the library of the future, specifically brutalist library Lauinger Library as part of a competition to be showcased in the Brutalist D.C. Exhibition in SUMA. We approached this project philosophically and expressed it artistically and architecturally. We took inspiration from the brutalist nature of the library, the physical nature of books, the virus-like nature of technology and viral/bacterial biology in order to arrive at a radical approach of 'consuming' this antiquated building into something of the future. Parallel to the ideas of the project, materials for the work were chosen carefully. All drawings are pen ink (with some use of a pen plotter), colored pencil and acetone transfer images on bristol paper. All models consist of laser cut cardboard, cast concrete, and dried florals. These selections were made specifically in order to blend the different 'systems' explored in the project. The resulting work is meant to provoke critiques and raise questions about our role (or lack thereof) in changing building typologies and spaces.
The library of the future will not be a library as we know it today. Wherever there exists nature, humans, and technology, there is change. With this as our basis, what then will the library of the future become as these systems of change begin to overtake its structure, program, and form? Especially when the library in question is housed in a brutalist structure, a style of building that is permanent, heavy, and resistant to change. Even more, physical books as objects of longstanding knowledge carry with them an inherent resistance, permanence, and nostalgia that make them push back against the inevitable shift towards a future library. As the natural systems creep up around the library, taking over the outdoor plazas, courtyards, gardens, and terraces, it begins to creep into the library. Human and technological systems… The library of the future is not a library, it is a network influenced by three systems: technology, humanity, and nature. It is not stagnant, it is a process. Analogous to the way that cellular replication and biological systems function, these agents of change will overtake the structure, program, and form of the library, completely transforming it from anything conceivable today. Transformation, however, encounters resistance. The brutalist nature of Lauinger Library establishes it as a monument, unyielding to change. Its thick concrete walls transform it into a hermetically sealed shell, impervious to external pressures. Similarly, physical books as objects of longstanding knowledge carry with them an inherent resistance, permanence, and nostalgia that make them push back against the inevitable shift towards a future library. Through organic exponential growth, the system takes on a life of its own, replicating and propagating indefinitely.
Sustainable Design & Materials
The approach to this project allows a more abstract approach to materiality and sustainability. Instead of thinking about these elements as non-living rigid objects, sustainability can start to be analyzed in a more social and human context. What is the point of environmental sustainability if we cannot have social sustainability? The two must go hand in hand. This project seeks to highlight the intertwining systems that inform space, and consequently, its use.
Green Building Designation(s)
Date of Completion
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