Redefining the meaning of a library and combining all forms of information in a deconstructivist approach, Seattle Central Library is this week’s Uncoverd project.
This episode of Uncoverd dives deep into the Seattle Central Library by Rem Koolhaas. PA’s editor, Luka Koumari, illustrates the most contentious issues of the project. The Seattle Central Library, which opened in 2004, is located in Seattle, Washington, United States. The architect was looking for a way to let the structure’s functions define how it looks on the interior. However, the building appears to be distinctive when viewed from the outside.
Each platform is a programmatic cluster with different purposes. Therefore, each platform’s size, flexibility, circulation, palette, structure, and MEP differs. These clusters include features such as a “book spiral” that displays an entire non-fiction collection, a “mixing chamber,” a “living room,” an auditorium, and an “Assembly” box containing public meeting rooms. The spaces between the platforms serve as trading floors, where the interface between the platforms is organized as work, engagement, and play zones.
The building’s skin becomes its image and serves as the structure. A more detailed look will demonstrate that two structural systems exist. The vertical loads are brought down to the foundations by a regular grid of columns, resulting in a free plan concept. In contrast, the steel cage takes horizontal loads that wrap the platforms and stabilize the building against wind or seismic disturbances. Besides, Depending on the weights that need to be resisted, the steel elements fluctuate in size, density, and orientation.
Although the Seattle Central Library lends support as the spectacular deconstructivism landmark merging futuristic lines with the functionality of a library, some flaws exist in the scheme. Namely, the dissatisfaction of some visitors with the library’s homelessness problem and vertigo experienced as a result of the escalator’s platform transitions.
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– PA’s UNCOVERD