Library as Transient Spectacle

  • Contemporary libraries are far too stratified in the duration of occupation of their destination spaces. You either spend five minutes or five hours in a library, and rarely any interval in between. Furthermore, this jagged field of temporality within libraries makes both them and their spaces less approachable and more harsh to the occupant. Library as Transient Spectacle aims to exist in contrast to libraries that favor occupation on the poles of the temporal continuum. 

    By housing program on a central ramp sequence, a sinuous transition between spaces of different durational occupation is achieved. This transient program ramp passes through the slabs in disregard. This gesture attempts to create a complex, peculiar, interrogative spatial friction between ramp and book stack, between path and meander. 

    Despite this desired friction, the implementation of book stacks was considered with the aim to have the lithe temporal sequence continue and spill over onto the slab spaces. Specifically, a square book stack unit was chosen and then its height was modulated while referencing site analysis, accessibility and access to views in order to create a field of temporal diversity--you have to interact with a taller bookshelf for a greater amount of time in order to find the book for which you are looking. Additionally, this library would offer no ordering system for the books, thereby elevating the importance of the search and furthering the effect of this temporal book field.

    Although this library critiques contemporary libraries' inadequacy, it holds no disdain for books themselves, and recognizes their importance, both nostalgic and tactile, in the ever digitalizing world.

    The following drawings, models and renders represent a brief documentation of process as well as the final proposal for this new library in downtown Providence, RI.
  • The above is my site analysis of 238 Dyer St., Providence, RI. I chose to analyze the temporality of occupation across the site and its immediate context. I overlaid a grid onto the site and then offset that grid different amounts to describe the amount of time that that area was occupied by a person. No offset indicates 0-1 minute of occupation, 1 offset is 4 minutes, 2 offsets is 16 minutes, 3 offsets is 64 minutes, 4 offsets is 256, and 5 offsets is 1024 minutes. I chose this exponential interval of time because it allowed me to view both minute and extended inhabitation i.e. this changing interval gave me the ability to differentiate both between 1 and 4 minutes, and 1 and 4 hours. This analytical drawing would go on to inform my understanding of library and help to shape my library's central ramp sequence and book stack layout.
  • The previous drawings, models and renders represent the final proposal for Library as Transient Spectacle. The library’s focus is sinuous and transient spatial program sequence which is manifested in its central ramp. The aim was to create a friction between the program spaces and book stacks by having the ramp pass through the slabs on which the book stacks are held, as well as to critique the contemporary library’s lack of diversity of temporal occupation. The book stack modules were varied in height to prevent the slabs from being temporally stagnant.