Each of my schemes focuses on different ideas; however, similar themes arise in each. In my first scheme, my idea was create a spine for a library, like a book. I was attempting to discover what was as integral to a library as a spine is to a book. This lead me to try and figure out what holds a library together. In addition, I intended to enable patrons to connect with nature through outdoor roof terrace gardens that pulls the interior spaces out into the natural world. From this intent, I developed a large central stairway which connects each of the floors through an open vertical space and through providing a means of egress between the floors. This central stairway serves as the spine of the library, allowing people to navigate through the library while providing a space that ties the library together. This central stairway becomes as important to the circulation and feeling of the library as a spine is for a book. The spaces and program of the library spreads out like pages from this central stairway. Each level steps back from the one below it, creating space for an outdoor roof garden. This allows interior spaces to feel as though they spread out to nature even though the site is so small and has little room for garden space. This also allows the building to be more sustainable by creating a new greenscape within the city.
My second scheme was based on a Japanese garden and focused around the ideas of ma, or the undefined space between two rooms, and on the cover of a book. I approached this intent by separating the program into three buildings that could be connected with a flat roof. This roof would be like a cover of a book connecting different chapters of a story. These overhanging roofs would exist as Japanese roof gardens while providing a means of egress between the buildings. The three separate buildings are arranged in such a way that corridors and small courtyards are created between the buildings. These small courtyards and corridors are ma and would serve as garden spaces for reflection and relaxation within the library. The spaces inside the buildings are arranged so that the main adult, teen, and children spaces would have reading sections next to exterior windows that would allow people to connect with the Japanese gardens outside. This combination of space, transition, and rooftop gardens create an overall Zen feeling, providing a place of relaxation and sanctuary away from the bustle of the city.
The third scheme intended to connect the library with nature and focus around a central core. I approached this idea by designing a library with a central courtyard. The first floor of a building is an L-shape. This creates a courtyard space with an entrance that articulates with the Japanese temple located adjacent to the site for the building. Stacked on top of this L-shape is a rectangular level with a hole in the middle. This creates a central plaza and atrium space that cuts through the center of the building. The layers are stacked in a way that allows a rooftop garden to be created on top of the first floor which can be accessed from the second story. This allows people on all floors to look into a central garden space and across to spaces on the other side of the building. The spaces inside the building were arranged around this central atrium and allow patrons to look into the center, turning away from the busy city and connecting the natural atrium. The third level is only on one side of the central atrium and focuses the interior spaces toward the center. This central atrium space ties the entire building together and allows the people inside to escape away from the city and spend time focusing inward on nature and on knowledge.
Overall, each of my schemes connect patrons inside the library with nature outside and the integral parts of books, providing a space for the community to gather, relax and learn, and escape from the rest of the city.