Cork Ideal Library
culture , Short-listed
Year – 2005
Public Competition – Short-listed
Client – Cork City Library
Location – Cork, Ireland
GPS – 51°53'48.7"N 8°28'30.6"W
Site Area – 3760 sq.m
Partners – Albuquerque Goinhas, Augusto Marcelino, Cristina de Mendonça, Luís Baptista, Nuno Griff, Pedro Patrício, Sofia Antunes
Project Team – Albuquerque Goinhas, Augusto Marcelino, Cristina de Mendonça, Luís Baptista, Nuno Griff, Pedro Patrício, Sofia Antunes
Photography – EMBAIXADA
Libraries are among the oldest known building typologies. For over 5000 years the modus operandi of the library has remained essentially the same. These are places where knowledge and cultural information is stored, preserved, ordered and available in many different forms: Clay tablets, Papyrus, Books, CD, DVD, electronic media and all kinds of digital technology.
Therefore, it’s not the changing format of the information that should dictate the design of such a building but rather the environment in which to access that information. For many centuries libraries were seen as places accessible only to a restricted part of the community. Nowadays the public are still reluctant users of the library as a public facility, they prefer, and are able, to obtain information from less institutionalized places. As a result of this it is essential that the library as a traditional institution be reinvented and not merely package in a new style.
The proposal aims to create an urban facility, by transforming a city block into a cultural plaza, capable of combining a sense of privacy and a strong social identity, rather than a recognizable architectural object. Taking advantage of the compactness of the city and thus of the site, the project defines itself through a organized parallel pattern of beams, conjoined with glass, arranged into various configurations, in order to fulfill any and all programmatic conditions that may arise. It is the structure itself that encompasses the entire functionality of the library, thus creating a flowing landscape of information, providing distinct spaces and offering various possibilities of use.