Vasconcelos Library – Prison?

As I have previously mentioned I am using my MA as a chance for me to develop my own design philosophy and hopefully create myself a toolkit that I can develop in the future and apply to different areas of design.  I have decided to showcase my philosophy by designing a library for my MA project.  As the key characteristic of my design style is the use of control, in particularly for this project the idea of controlling freedom and status within a Library, which is why I find Alberto Kalach’s  Vasconcelos Library visually fascinating.


Although the inspiration for this project stems from a biblical context (my Spanish isn’t brilliant and neither is Google translate, but it has something to do with Jonah and the wale) I find the atmosphere created in the space makes for a very controlled environment.  The almost grid like layout reflects some of the feelings and emotions I experienced at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, and the variation in depth of the platforms extending in to the main area appear to add a sense intimidation and claustrophobia. 


The use of few materials (key materials are Steel and Frosted glass) and colours add an element of confusion to the space which will inevitably control the way the space is interacted with and the timescale visitors spend there.  The industrial feel of the space appears to resemble that of a prison, yet it somehow also encaptures a welcoming environment at the same time.


Is your Spanish better than mine? Why not take a look at Alberto Kalach’s website or if not I recommend this article on ArchDaily if you want to see more.


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