Thursday, November 22, 2012

The library design moving away from tradition

It is a well known fact that library designs are becoming more and more popular in the interior design sector of the world. Many designers are taking strides to revolutionize the modern design of these builidings as libraries are community spaces which serve both education and communication.

Instead of simply rehashing the stark, institutional library motif, the 21st century library places focus on collaborative learning, features abundant natural light, inverts institutional design and is founded on a strong basis of environmental responsiblity.

Located at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, which was recently officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II, moves completely away from the traditionalist buildings of the past, demonstrating an incredibly modern aesthetic and ideology. Designed by architectural firm Schimdt Lassen, the 15,500 square metre library will replace the previous library which was earlier built in 1965.


"The building is a bold and affirmative statement from the University," said University of Aberdeen librarian and director of special collections and museums Chris Banks. "Its says 'We mean business' and it also says 'You are welcome here.'"
The building's facade consists of a mass of insulated high-performance panels while the interiors are a testament to topology, fluidity and light.
From the central atrium, aptly dubbed the 'dynamic vortex', visitors - of which there have been more than 700,000 over the last 12 months - can see through thte centre of the entire building, giving a sense of extreme space without being overwhelming to the point where patrons feel disconnected. 
"I'm also delighted that the building has attracted so many more students to use the library and the way in which it provides for both social and formal meeting spaces," Banks said. "It has, for the first time, allowed us to truly showcase our very significant special collections."
The designers set out to achieve BREEAM certification for the building, a goal they achieved through the implementation of several key sustainable features.
According to architect Morten Schmidt, the building stands as a modern icon for the university and area, offering all the positive elements that are now commonplace with modern library design.
"The University of Aberdeen New Library functions as a meeting places and a cultural centre for the students of the University as well as the Aberdeen community." he said. "The facade of the building shimmers during the day and glows softly at night, creating a luminous landmark - a beacon - for the city of Aberdeen."
Importance of library design being lost on architects? Surely not, with the buildings now becoming more than ever aesthetically pleasing modern community icons.


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