Library of light and shadow
... is my very first purely architectural project. The design process was unlike anything I had expected. Instead of having a clear brief that would already explain what is to be built, the going was very gradual and controlled and the final product was not certain until the very end.
First, you think of a place where you would sit down with a book and feel the best. Although it sounds pretty straightforward, it makes me think what were the qualities I was looking for when reading. I realised I had never searched for a totally exposed place with an overwhelming amount of light. Instead, I tried to look for a perfect balance of light and shadow. And the search for what this balance could look like became the overarching theme of the entire project.
A space that corresponded with these qualities was in fact my own room. The light coming from the French window might feel strong and disturbing, but the position of the chair and the body creates a small capsule as majority of the space in front is always somewhat covered in shadow. This dimness right in front of me creates a capsule, perfect for an unobstructed and slightly intimate reading experience.
The aforementioned qualities were to be then transferred onto a concrete space. I knew that it should be very fundamental - almost just a box = a shell. What is important, is happening on the inside. The facade is only there to cater for the best light experience. A lot of different iterations and testing was done before reaching a balanced form.
It was only at that point, when any real site was provided. I picked an intriguing spot on a cliff above a beach in Margate. Strong south light coming from the city and the dim north light from the sea allowed the qualities to be materialised. In addition, the design strived to create a subtle connection between the top and bottom, overcoming the substantial height difference which had been preventing people from truly experiencing the water.
PROGRAMME: reading space, small library
LOCATION: Margate, UK
STATUS: UEL year 1 term 1 project