Brief 7 // Season 2 // The Library
Rethinking the microtypology of the study room
The idea of library exists in a symbiosis between reading and displaying.
The repeated imagery of neatly arranged wall of books associates itself with the act of reading and creates a powerful sense of serenity and intellectual seclusion like no other architectural motifs.
However, this traditional mode of image-making might not be a necessity. The book-lined room is a feast catering to a single sense: that of vision. When we read, we are blind to the world around us, and even the physical presence of the book we’re holding — we read with our minds and not with our eyes.
When loudly boasting of its physical abundance, does a book-cluttered room not interfere with the act of immersing oneself into a single book and building a personal relationship with it? Could it be that the pervasiveness of the wall of books as the architectural prototype to the library room is simultaneously a product and symptom of the progressively image-centric culture of our time?
In questioning the historic coincidence of the two different programs: the distinct acts of visual storing and using books — into one and the same space, we can investigate whether their symbiosis is merely a resultant of its physical practicality, or if it forms a truly stable and indivisible typology. Let us test whether the space of book-reading belongs with — or is bound to diverge from — the space of book-storing.
Written By Georgi Belyanov // Architectural Association