The name of the project is Fracture of revival, the civic campus of Brick Library. The key words of the new library here are the book, people, light, history and green. And the central thesis is how to make the new library more bright and inviting for people to come in. The city needs more buildings with comfortable scale, green space and space to get together, which the current library does not have.
The history of the Richmond can be found in the Richmond public library, in the 1930 one as well as the 1972 extension, from the segregation map, there is a long history of racial segregation, so the fracture could be regarded as a physical memorial of it and a metaphor of breaking things for something new and hopeful to come up.
And there are also very few green spaces around, the existing park at the back of the library is surrounded by topography and makes it feel closed and disconnected to the library, so very few people would like to use it. Also, from the surrounding environment, there are actually many void spaces inside the building blocks, which has the potential to be the place for people to get together. But at the same time, there are also empty spaces or buildings with big volumes that occupy the ground, which makes the space hard for people to really use it.
From the shape study of the building, as well as the surrounding site context, the monumentality of the building doesn’t have to come from the volume of the building, but the thickness of the space, which is how close people can feel and use the space.
So the development of the final proposal is built on the existing footprint of the 1972 library, and breaks the building from the 1930 Dooley lobby and extends to the center of the existing building, typically removing every existing structure and breaking them into 4 different pieces for more light and more human scale building. The tree growing at the center of the Dooley courtyard, and the green spread around the building, makes the space more pleasant and enjoyable, as well as a sign of vitality and growth.
To bring light into the building, there are skylights on the roof, windows on the perimeter walls as well as the ground, and the wall facing the center is glass, which can really make the library bright. And the fundamental elements of the library is the books, to magnify this character, the brick perimeter walls and the glulam structure are the building structure, as well as structures of the bookshelf inside and outside, then the whole building is surrounded by books, and the seats at the center square and the pergola outside can also made of bookshelves and provide space for people to read and rest.
For the program and circulation, the library spaces are permeating all around the building, and there are some small rooms for librarian, resident and mechanical things on different part of the building. And the four floors and different parts of the buildings are connected by stairs and two outdoor small bridges.
The lowest level is the basement 2, which is the parking lot, and people can use the elevator to enter the building. The real space for the library begins at the basement 1 level, which is mainly the reading space because there will be skylight from these voids and windows on the ground. And some office rooms, meeting room, auditorium and children, teenager and adult reading room.
On the first floor, people enter the main building from the entrance here, and go up and down using stairs, and there are some event spaces like a performance room, and library shop. This small piece of building is the independent one as civic space, and has its own entrance where the first floor has café and the second floor has arts and crafts space.
The second floor, there is a librarian lounge space, worker lab, and a special collection and computer lab for visitors. Also, these two small pieces of the building are connected with these two bridges, so it can reduce the need for the fire stairs.
As for the structure, the main elements are the concrete for the parking lot level, the brick for the perimeter walls and roof, the glass for the walls facing center, and the glulam for the column and beams. The parking lot level is built with concrete, and acts like a big concrete platform to support the brick and wood structure above. All other three levels have wood columns to support the floor, and main and secondary beams to stable the structure.
Not only the perimeter walls inside outside are bookshelves, but also the walls of the rooms are bookshelf, as well as that the library space is floating all around the site, so you can feel that you are encompassed by books when you get close to the community here and enter the site, that is how the library can be a civic campus.


the tools using for the project: hand sketches, physical models, Rhino, Lumion, Adobe Phtoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Auto CAD

Student: Keren Shi
Instructor: Stella Betts, David Leven

FRACTURE OF REVIVAL - Civic Campus of Brick Library by Keren Shi in United States won the WA Award Cycle 40. Please find below the WA Award poster for this project.

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