Urban Library Park
Finalist ‘Future of Education’ Project at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2018
We met with the Digital Solutions and Innovation team at Auckland Libraries who were interested in exploring new ways in which libraries may exist in the future in Urban centres.
We recognised that the introduction of driverless cars may soon bring about the opportunity to adapt and re-use car parking buildings, which no longer need to be located in central city locations. The open and continuous space offers a great opportunity for a new type of public institution, which brings together key aspects of a library, a gallery, a cultural centre and urban park in central city locations.
This project helps to address a number of key issues that we are facing as a educated society including: inequality; health issues from increasingly sedentary lifestyles; social ignorance resulting in increasing selfishness and a lack of tolerance and empathy; isolation and loneliness; attention deficit disorders and short attention spans; lack of demographic and socio-economic diversity at higher levels in social sector institutions; educational sustainability and environmental sustainability.
A central track loops up the height of the building taking visitors through the active zone, where people can play interactive learning games. A new light well is cut through the centre of the building. Dynamic content, that is partly curated by members of the community through online submissions and voting is shown on interactive screens, fog projections and through Augmented reality devices, which can be loaned to visitors. Temporarily archived books are stored in the central bookshelf enclosures, protected from weather. These can be accessed intermittently, if desired, otherwise books related to the current topics are clustered around the space on book chandeliers. The overall theme rotates fortnightly. Quiet reading and learning zones can be found towards the perimeter of the floor plates and roof garden.
Accessibility to information is key to a society’s ability to educate its citizens. Being able to process that information through both digital literacy and general literacy is equally important in the educational process. Education helps to create equity and enable social cohesion and increased opportunities for all. This is achieved through providing full access to the latest technology, learning games and other engaging educational material for people from all walks of life – in age, culture, ability, and lifestyle. This building typology provides a spatial openness without barrier to any of its users. Additionally, the space is already ‘ramped’ and therefore offers a ready made structure that is accessible by all user groups including mothers with prams and those in wheelchairs.
The ‘International gardens and cinema’ is a place for cultural immersion and tolerance. where people can play, relax and enjoy international films and planting from various countries. We imagine that new digital technologies could assist greatly in language learning as well as cultural immersion.
Our scheme has been allocated into the following areas: a gallery/ showcase; a facility for research and community support; a gaming realm; a place for the sensory; a place for the imaginary; a platform for the combination of skills; and, stages of the world’s information and language.