Architecture Library, Chulalongkorn University

Department of ARCHITECTURE Co.

The project is about rethinking what today’s libraries can be, particularly if they are located in an architecture school. The library is re-activated, imagined as more than a place for reading books. Rather, it is presented as a ‘creative incubator’ with various programs integrated create a place of knowledge and inspiration. It incorporates digital media, exhibition space, experimental space, conversation space, pin-up space, movie space, lecture space, et cetera, while also still providing the usual library reading spaces, all under one roof.

The design goes beyond the form, the appearance, or even the conventional function of the building type. It questions the validity of the building type itself. It examines the current state of physical books versus digital media, and the conventional library etiquette versus the contemporary lifestyle of the new generation. For the library to still be relevant today, it needs to adapt to the contemporary condition.

On the first level, a 3D grid system enveloping a co-working space provides an open-ended platform for students to create exhibitions or events, to hang out, to fasten, to insert, or to do anything with it. It becomes an experimental ground for architecture students, where they can act on the space. The system also offers pin-up spaces with magnetic pin boards and digital screens where anyone who walks past can stop by to join the discussion.

Different atmospheres and seating types allow people to suit their preference, from co-working space, tables with outdoor vantage points, and sofa spaces for relaxation. A quiet zone caters those who need to concentrate. Carrels are arranged in a labyrinth configuration to minimise disturbance from the circulation zones around them. On the top floor, the pixelated steps are a reading area that can be turned into an auditorium for occasional lectures or movies as another source of inspiration.

Furniture: Hay, Niiq, Actiu, Curio, Lee Victor. Lighting: Triple S Technology, ENDO Lighting, L&E. Finishes: Flowcrete, Cotto, Bolon, Cromaz, Alucobond, Wilson Art, Lamitak, EDL, Hera Design. Fittings & Fixtures: Hafele.

Photography: W Workspace