Design Integration Laboratory

Architecture 484/584 - Spring 1996

. A Small Town Public Library for the Twenty First Century

Design Faculty . Kevin Matthews

Studio Location . 201 Pacific Hall, Eugene

Time . 1:00-5:00pm M/W/F

Gallery | Newsgroup | Program | Course Nexus | Site Info | Participants

The project of this studio will be the complete design of a modest civic building for a small town in Oregon.

A modern Andrew Carnegie has commissioned you to build a small new public library, which will serve its town and at the same time will serve the world as a beacon of the possibilities for this central secular institution of culture and life-long learning.

The very word "library" means a place for books, and books are the centerpiece of today's library. This must be true for what we build. Yet the half-life of a beautiful public building needs to be at least 50 years. How will our relationship to books be different 50 years from now, and what tools will our culture be using to record, distribute, share and receive fiction, non-fiction, references, periodicals, and so on.

How to we balance timelessness and timeliness to design a lasting building for a changing world?

The short answer is that we must design in terms of the fundamentals of constructing beautiful space for appropriate accommodation of human activities.

Considerations of grace and sustainability such as natural lighting and energetics, and healthy and renewable materials will be part of this basic total design agenda. And so will definition and expression of architectural character, through form and detail at the civic and personal scales. A sensitive understanding and projection of what might be conserved in the interactions of people around information, as the appliances we use to hold and deliver it are completely transformed will be important. And the foundational architectural issues, of just how the building itself stands up as what it is, will be entirely of the essence.

Appropriate and intensive integration of digital media into the design and presentation processes will be an assumption of the studio.

Computing Tools | DesignWorkshop | Radiance | Great Buildings | The DIL References | D.I.L. Index
This document is provided for on-line viewing only, except as printed by Author.
© 1996 Kevin Matthews, All Rights Reserved. - Posted 96.03.06 KMM, rev. 96.04.11