September 6, 2011

Will libraries endure?

KRA's Andy Grogan is leading a studio this semester at Boston Architectural College in which students will explore the enduring idea of “the library,” both as a public building and as a public institution.  The students' final project will be a design for a new public library in Holyoke, MA.

From the syllabus: With digital technologies challenging the traditional physicality of information and changing the connection of information to place, public libraries face many challenges to their traditional programs, and yet, as these challenges have emerged, library usage has increased.  How do libraries respond, innovate, and/or evolve in light of these changes?  How do you design an object for an idea that is changing but which also has endured through centuries?

The famous photo above, taken in September 1940, shows the remains of London's Holland House Library, the morning after a German air attack destroyed the building.