D e - B i b l i o t h e c a

Type: Commercial

Status: Competition

Year: 2015 

De-Bibliotheca is the new proposed Ironbound Branch Library (IBL), located in Newark, NJ. The project begun by analyzing historical and new libraries to understand how they fulfill(ed) a civic role in their specific community and time. Site analysis is very important at the scale of neighborhood and parcel. From these analyses, it was necessary to develop a thesis that establishes the role the new proposed library will play in the Ironbound.

Contemporary libraries have to be a place everyone is entitled to dream and create. The user has to feel empowered of its own future, and believe that anything is accomplishable. De-Biblioteca with it’s spaces filled with light, its layers and screens, formally tries to embrace this concept for the generation that will lead the new society in the future. 

Site Analysis

The project is located in the Iron bound section of Newark NJ. The scale and the existing buildings vary within the surrounding blocks and their edges. Rhythm is given by the push and pull of the masses of these volumes. Some create a void which allows to develop private courtyards, others subdivide this interior space due to larger program, and some fill it with other specific program or garages.

Program

Town houses that are on the site can be divided programmatically in three sections. A lower one accessible from public, a middle one (largest of the three) that holds most rooms, and a top one that relates to the neighborhood skyline.

 

The project reflects this tripartite division both in plan and section. The lower level is transparent and connects with the surrounding site, the middle one (heart of the library) holds circulation and main spaces, and the top one connects gathering spaces lit by sunlight.

TV / PHOTOGRAPHY / MUSIC ROOM 

- COMPUTER AREA 

- ADMINISTRATION 

CORES / BOOKS 

ADULT READING ROOM

AND LOUNGE 

LOUNGE / SKYROOM 

MEETING ROOM 

GROUP STUDY AREA 

AUDITORIUM / THEATER 

CAFE AND BOOKSTORE 

KIDS READING ROOM AND PLAYGROUND 

The project tries to integrate the “traditional” architecture of the site with an architecture well suited for the 21st century. Steel frame and program work together as a whole emphasizing the idea that the heart of modern knowledge is collective, the internet, and social interaction are today as responsible of our culture as much as books once were. Architecturally this translates with books stacks that become elevated structural cores. They hold metaphorically our knowledge, physically the circulation, and connect common areas or important parts of the program.

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