Library Crisis


In the same sense of the city life being a constant busy location with its urban qualities, the city itself can only be as good as the buildings in which are built in it. Considering 'Life' and Buildings both contain basic building blocks (as well as everything else in the world that is lived or ‘experienced’) such as the atom and the brick, we can now make comparisons between the both in order to realise how function and design come through, considering the 'best life' to be a perfect balance between what is physical and metaphysical, then the best architecture must also have the best balance.

To describe life a person has to agree that there is something physical and metaphysical. The physical aspects, how I look, come from history ( father, grandfather, great grandfather… etc) where as the balance of it (metaphysical) comes from God (spirit).

Metaphorically comparing life to a building, the 'best building' must also then have a balance of history and spirit. The best building in a city should have the best combination of historical context (physical parts of the building are taken from ideas through history) and spiritual (the architects original idea).

Now, a library is very complex idea. It can come in a manner of a physical national library, or it can come as a digital arrangement of knowledge that can be obtained through some sort of visual apparatus (computer, television, radio). I believe that if a library is to be designed in the city as a structural and functional monument, it should have important monumental traditional, historical elements that allow it to reside where it is chosen for it to reside. It must be as specific a design as to how my ears and nose (metaphor for buildings) are to my face (the city). However the real question is now that I know that my design for a library must be something historical with original ideas (life/architecture comparasion), how can that integrate with the digital age, which has very little history and very little originality and in a manner of speaking are two completely different subjects?

An Answer could be that the digital elements of the building stay as elements with no design but with function, whereas the elements containing books should represent themselves symbolically and taken from history. Two distinguishable parts (books and web) in structure but that fit into each other.

A national library in the city must have appropriate spaces for people as well as the books that the people read. A library does not only serve as a container for books but as a public realm for the people of the town or city in which it stands in. In the National Library of France, The architect understands the idea of people as the central idea, therefore allowing a large internal space to represent that everything that circulates around the center makes whatever sits there the most important. Considering vertical symbolic elements surround the central space, it is understand that although the public area is in the center of the project, it is still a connection between the constitution and the people on the street. A monument is a building which symbolizes the traditional or idealistic qualities of the city. A library remains traditional throughout history because it remains in a local area where people of that same area can connect. The most important quality to a library is that it remains more personal and private to the city than any website or media productive can be to the entire world, therefore to be anything but symbolic in a library would add to the crisis of a library losing its definition.

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